Tax 101: understanding tax

Tax 101: overview

The materials in Tax 101 have been designed to be used in a variety of ways. Each topic is designed as a stand-alone section to be explored by a whole class, small groups or individual students. Information about alignment to the curriculum is via the Curriculum links block on the home page.

PDF versions of the Tax 101 course module are now available on the downloads page.


Pre-test: How much do I know about tax?

Before you start Tax 101, let's see how much you already know about tax. Answer these questions to find out. After you have finished Tax 101, you can re-sit this test to find out if you are a tax genius!

What is tax and why do we need it?

Take the Pre-test: How much do I know about tax? quiz first to find out how much you already know about tax and then start this activity to discover some of the underlying issues relating to tax.

Tax: who, what, how and why

Different types of taxes affect taxpayers in different ways. Work out the difference between progressive, proportional and regressive taxes and test your understanding of these three tax types.

How is tax revenue spent?

Different levels of government provide a wide range of goods and services. Discover what these goods and services are, and explore your own community to see what kinds of things the government provides.

The Budget: taxes and spending

The annual Budget shows how tax revenue is collected and how it will be spent. Explore issues concerning the Budget. Investigate how pressures on the Budget can impact on the type and amount of taxes that are levied.

History of tax in Australia

Taxes have changed and evolved over time.  Discover the changes made in the Australian tax system and explore the reasons taxes change.

Challenge quiz: Tax 101

After you've finished all the topics, play the challenge quiz and beat your classmates.

Quick tax test: Tax 101

After you've finished all the topics, take the test on Tax 101 to see if you're a tax expert.

Test the tax knowledge you've gained from working through Tax 101.

  • Fact 23

    Social activities among ATO employees in the 1960s included 'Miss Taxation' contests which were part of state-wide fundraising for major charities.

Self-assessment

Australia's tax system works on self-assessment. When a taxpayer completes their income tax return, they must show all of their income and only claim allowable deductions and tax offsets to which they are entitled. The ATO issues a notice of assessment based on the information provided in the tax return.

read more glossary terms