Pennsylvania teenagers could soon be helping their parents file their tax returns, thanks to a new state program aimed at teaching high school students the ins and outs of state income taxes.
Personal Income Taxes 101 was unveiled last week by Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, Mark S. Schweiker. The course was developed jointly by the state departments of revenue and education to teach students why state income taxes are necessary and how to pay them.
"This effort is particularly impressive, as it highlights how state agencies can work together to create an important tool for our young people," Mr. Schweiker, a Republican, said in a prepared statement.
Stephanie Weyant, a spokeswoman for the revenue department, said the agency knows of no other such program in the nation. It was put together after an employee of the revenue agency suggested that teaching students how to file state taxes in high school would prevent mistakes later in life.
The departments prepared booklets for both teachers and students that offer basic guides to tax preparation; tax forms are provided with the guides. Ms. Weyant said covering the material would take about one class period.
Besides familiarizing students with the basics of tax filing, the program is designed to "to encourage them to file electronically," Ms. Weyant added.
The materials have gone out to superintendents statewide with a letter encouraging them to include the program in their curricula.
In the first few days after the program was announced, Ms. Weyant said, the revenue department heard from several superintendents saying they planned to use the course, including some who said they were considering making it a permanent part of the curriculum.
Vol. 20, Issue 29, Page 21Published in Print: April 4, 2001, as State Journal