By Christopher Hope (The Telegraph)
Critics said it was "un-British" of the HMRC to try to turn "children into state spies".
The news came after a Treasury minister said it was "morally wrong” for home owners to negotiate discounts with plumbers and traders by paying them in cash if it allowed them to evade tax.
HMRC has set up teaching modules to guide children through the hazards of pay as you earn and National Insurance contributions.
Some of the modules – which can be downloaded from HMRC’s website - teach school children as young as 11 about paying their fair share of tax.
The revenue uses video, games, facts and quizzes to "help make teaching financial capability and citizenship issues relevant and engaging”, according to its website.
One module, headlined "tax responsibilities of a good citizen”, aims to help teenagers "understand the obligations if being a good citizen and discuss what should happen to hose who are not prepared to work under such obligations”.
One lesson plan – targeted at 14 to 16 year olds – requires students to "discuss whether it is good to pay the tax we do, considering the benefits we receive. If it is good, then why do people try not to pay?”
It continues: "Show class the remaining factfile slides on tax evasion. What do students think of those who refuse to pay tax or try and defraud the benefits system?
"Can they think of any example they may have heard of in their local area?”
A further "plenary session” asks: "What do students now think about paying taxes? In what other ways can we contribute to working together for a better society?
"What do students think about people who try to avoid paying taxes? Is it a victimless crime? What kind of penalties should such people be given when they are caught?”
The modules were criticised by thinktank Civitas. David Green, its director, said: "This sounds a bit too 'Big Brotherish'. People 'in their local area' are most likely to be parents or close relatives. Turning children into state spies is un-British."
An HMRC spokesman said: "HMRC has been providing basic information for many years to teachers to use when teaching financial education in classrooms.
"We certainly don't use this to collect information on tax evaders from children. These materials are solely designed to help children to learn about how tax works in Britain.”
The news came after Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg were among a number of Cabinet ministers who admitted they paid in cash for services.
However they denied that they ever did so to help someone to evade VAT.
That came after Exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said it was "morally wrong” for home owners to negotiate discounts with plumbers and traders by paying them in cash if it allowed them to evade VAT or income tax.
His comments reflected growing concern in Whitehall about the cash-in-hand economy, which costs Britain billions of pounds a year in lost tax revenues.