Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to KnowRG

Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to KnowRG

by Leonard E. Burman, Joel Slemrod
     
 

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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: What Everyone Needs to KnowRG, by preeminent tax scholars Leonard E. Burman and Joel Slemrod, offers a… See more details below

Overview

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: What Everyone Needs to KnowRG, 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. Accessibly written 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 how to 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? What Everyone Needs to KnowRG is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A valuable new primer on the nation's wild and crazy revenue system. Taxes in America is a clear, concise, and easy-to-read tour of the U.S. revenue system. It is written in a simple question-and-answer format, and does a nice job of breaking down complex tax theory into bite-sized understandable chunks. If you find yourself baffled by the politicians' arguments over tax rates and "loopholes" or about the various forms of tax reforms that are floating around, Taxes in America will help you understand what it is that lawmakers are about to do to you."--Forbes

"This is an excellent, understandable book on a topic important to a wide rangeof library patrons."--Library Journal

"Burman and Slemrod bring their wealth of experience and scholarship to the task of helping the American taxpayer and voter understand the language of taxation--to distinguish the marriage bonus from bonus depreciation and transfer pricing from transfer payments. The authors' comprehensive yet comprehensible tour of the US tax system will promote readers' understanding of the taxes we pay and the policy choices we confront." -- Alan J. Auerbach, Robert D. Burch Professor of Economics and Law, University of California, Berkeley

"This is an excellent, understandable book on a topic important to a wide range of library patrons."-- BOOKLIST

"As America gears up to debate fundamental tax reform again, two of the giants of the field have laid out everything you need to know in order to understand what reform means and why it matters-how the tax system works, who pays and how inefficient it is. If every policy maker in America read this book, the tax code would probably look a lot different." -- Austan Goolsbee, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Former Chairman, Council of Economic Advisors

"This volume provides an excellent overview of tax policy. Using non-technical language, it lucidly discusses institutional, political, and economic issues associated with the tax system. All those who want to find their way through the thicket of tax reform will want to have a copy of this book on their shelves." -- Harvey S. Rosen, John L. Weinberg Professor of Economics and Business Policy, Princeton University

"This volume makes complex issues of tax design and economic analysis not only accessible, but often entertaining. It explains with extraordinary clarity the current tax system, as well as leading reform proposals. It is must reading for anyone who hopes to understand and to participate in the approaching national debate on tax reform." -- James M. Poterba, Mitsui Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, President, National Bureau of Economic Research

"Recently I've been reading economists Leonard Burman and Joel Slemrod's Taxes in America. Like pretty much everything else these two write, this book is well worth reading. In particular, it hits all the important questions about taxes in a clear and neutral manner. I highly recommend it whether you want to learn more about our tax system, its incidences, its cost, and more, or whether you want to learn how to explain complex tax issues in a simple and concise way."--Veronique de Rugy, National Review

"Burman and Slemrod, outstanding tax scholars, explain what everyone needs to know about US federal taxes, as promised in the title. Their approach to explaining federal tax complexities is to pose questions...then provide straightforward, jargon-free answers to these questions. Even when the logic of the answer is convoluted and sophisticated, based on stacks of economic analysis, the authors manage clear, direct answers. The book provides the best start for anyone struggling to make sense of the federal tax system and of the current argument about tax reform and restructuring. It does not provide the answers, nor does it try to, but this work provides the best available context for understanding what is going on and for allowing the reader to reach an informed decision about the arguments. Essential."--CHOICE

Library Journal
Burman (public affairs, Syracuse Univ.; coauthor, Using Taxes To Reform Health Insurance: Pitfalls and Promises) and Slemrod (economics, Univ. of Michigan; coauthor, Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes) team up to provide an overview of the American tax system. Written in a Q&A format, each chapter's questions (e.g., "How are taxes like ducks?") build on the preceding ones, so that read sequentially they make perfect sense but otherwise lack context. Each of the 12 chapters focuses on an issue, such as the different types of taxes, personal and business taxes, and the enforcement of current policies and potential reforms. Burman and Slemrod focus mainly on federal taxes, but they do mention state and local taxes as well as tax policies in other countries when it makes sense to do so, especially for comparisons. VERDICT Despite its organizational idiosyncrasies, this book should be required reading for everyone who wants to understand how the U.S. tax system works. The authors explain the basics of taxation, how it relates to the economy, and how proposed tax reforms (always popular in an election year) will or won't work.—Elizabeth Nelson, UOP Library, Des Plaines, IL

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199996285
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/25/2012
Series:
What Everyone Needs to Know
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
348,151
File size:
6 MB

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