Respected tax scholar Leonard Burman ’75 is the co-writer (with Joel Slemrod) of Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press), a clear, concise explanation of how the U.S. tax system works, how it affects people and businesses, and how it might be improved. This highly accessible book, organized in a question-and-answer format, describes the intricacies of the modern tax system in an easy-to-grasp manner.
The book starts with the basic definitions of taxes and then examines more complicated and controversial issues. They address such questions as: How much more tax could the IRS collect with better enforcement? 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?
In his Forbes magazine review, Howard Gleckman says that the book “is no polemic for tax reform, but it is a powerful brief for such an effort. [The authors] are satisfied to describe how the law works, what taxes do to those who pay them and the economy at large, and how today’s revenue system was created. That design will make it a well-thumbed resource in the upcoming tax reform debate.”
Burman is Daniel Patrick Moynihan Professor of Public Affairs at Maxwell School of Syracuse University.