Taxing times lead to super apple app

ATO app teaches tax over desktop, mobile

The Australian Tax Office is turning to iPhones, iPads and Androids to help teach disinterested school kids about tax and superannuation.

The office will use the chic phones as part of its education plans after its voluntary program based on paper hand-outs failed to interest teachers and students. Almost every school in the country signed-on, but only about a third used the paper hand-outs at best in a limited capacity.

A contract was issued last month to build an application that would teach tax obligations and superannuation using games, quizzes and tests over Windows, Macintosh, and Apple, Windows and Google smart-phones.

The application will attempt to get kids excited about the other certainty in life while the ATO pushes to have its program formally integrated with the national syllabus from 2013.

It will teach school kids about Tax File Numbers, superannuation, and the need for, and difference between personal and business taxes. The application will need to entertain teachers as well as children through a series of activities, multiplayer-online games and challenges.

Parents and teachers will be able to track student progress online, and generate reports and topical teaching materials.

The application will go live in time for the start of school next year.