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How and Why You Should Start Teaching Your Child About Taxes As A Pre-Teen

Going through tax season annually, in some ways, can be the equivalent of stepping into a washing machine and turning on the spin cycle. 

Even when you’re not doing it alone and you pick a good financial advisor, something we’ve discussed in a past blog, making your way through a yearly battle with understanding and filing taxes can produce the same feeling as when you stub your toe on the foot of a coffee table. 

Here at Explorer Hop, our passion is making sure that youth financial literacy is up to a standard where that feeling is never experienced by today’s young and developing minds. 

In service of that goal, we want to take some time today to discuss with you, the parents of the next generation, how and why we believe it is important for you to jump start your child’s understanding of taxes from the time they hit their pre-teen years.

Let’s get into it. 


First, the “why” of it all, which is honestly the simpler part of the equation. 

You should start teaching your child about taxes as a pre-teen because taxes are complicated. The longer they spend learning and understanding the whirlwind that can be taxes now, the less likely they are to be perplexed by them when they reach an age where they need to file taxes themselves. In other words, as the classic saying goes, “it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials”. This quote is no less applicable to understanding a concept like taxes, which are intricate and complex just like playing a violin or learning how to do website code. Starting your child’s journey to understanding taxes at 12 as opposed to 22 or even 17 will give them more time to hone or master their understanding of the concept, which will benefit them greatly in the future – especially compared to others that start their “tax journey” later down the line. 

Moving on, here are a couple ways you can start actually teaching your pre-teen about taxes today:

Idea 1: Receipt organization activities can be a simple way to start building the foundation for your pre-teen’s understanding of taxes. Sit your child down during your next tax season and get them to help organize your receipts into piles for different things – gas, entertainment, meals etc. This will help them begin to build a basic understanding of the expenses that are involved with filing taxes and hopefully act as an introductory lesson into the world of filing taxes. 

person typing on calculator

Idea 2: A more practical way of teaching pre-teen aged children about taxes is making them experience taxes for themselves via the allowance you give them. For every dollar you give them, take away a portion and put it in another container as “tax”. This will drive home the idea that taxes are a deducted part of income and set your child up with a foundational level of understanding with respect to how taxes actually work through first-hand experience. 

Now that we’ve given out these tips, we don’t want to leave you figuring out for yourself where else to go to help your child boost their financial literacy skills from here, because we have that answer for you too.

If you’d like to see your child grow their financial literacy in internationally-renowned courses and classes that span 11 countries and 4 continents, look no further than the personal finance programs we have here at Explorer Hop. 


To aid you in helping your child grow, we’ve got nationally and internationally-acclaimed personal finance programs for children in grades one all the way to twelve, covering topics ranging from the basics and history of money to the stock market, global finance and more. 

Please check out our courses and classes online now and sign your child up today! We look forward to seeing you soon!  

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