Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know

Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know

Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know

Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know

Synopsis

Despite their passion and fury, contemporary Americans are remarkably clueless about how their tax system works. But with heated debates over taxation now roiling Congress and the nation, an understanding of our tax system is of vital importance. Taxes in America, by preeminent tax scholars Leonard E. Burman and Joel Slemrod, offers a clear, concise explanation of how our tax system works, how it affects people and businesses, and how it might be improved. Accessiblywritten and organized in a clear, question-and-answer format, the book describes the intricacies of the modern tax system in an easy-to-grasp manner. Burman and Slemrod begin with the basic definitions of taxes and then delve into more complicated and indeed contentious concerns. They address such questions as howto recognize Fool's Gold tax reform plans. How much more tax could the IRS collect with better enforcement? How do tax burdens vary around the world? Why do corporations pay so little tax, even though they earn trillions of dollars every year? And what kind of tax system is most conducive to economic growth?

Excerpt

Leonard E. Burman is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Professor of Public Affairs at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and holds appointments in the departments of public administration and economics, as well as the law school. Prior to coming to Syracuse, he co-founded and directed the Tax Policy Center (TPC), a nonpartisan joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. TPC is widely respected in Washington policy circles for the quality, objectivity, and clarity of its analysis of complex subjects. Burman previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis at the Treasury Department and senior economist at the Congressional Budget Office. He was president of the National Tax Association (NTA), the leading American organization of experts in the theory and practice of taxation, from 2010 to 2011. He often testifies before Congress on tax and budget policy issues and his commentaries have been published in top newspapers and aired on public radio. He is the author of a book, The Labyrinth of Capital Gains Tax Policy: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Joel Slemrod is the Paul W. McCracken Collegiate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and Professor and Chair in the Department of Economics, at the University of Michigan. He also serves as Director of the Office of . . .

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