By T. R. Reid
The U.S. tax code is a complete write-off. full of loopholes and exact curiosity provisions, it really works for not anyone other than tax attorneys, accountants, and large organisations. no longer for the 1st time, now we have reached a verge of collapse. That occurred in 1922, and back in 1954, and back in 1986. In different phrases, each thirty-two years. because of this the subsequent whole overhaul is due in 2018. yet what may be during this new tax code? do we make the U.S. tax method easier, fairer, and extra effective? certain, definite, and convinced. do we reduce tax charges and nonetheless usher in extra profit? convinced.
different wealthy international locations, from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK—advanced, high-tech, free-market democracies—have all devised tax regimes which are equitable, powerful, and simple at the taxpayer. however the usa has languished. So byzantine are the present statutes that, by means of our government’s personal estimates, american citizens spend six billion hours and $10 billion each year getting ready and submitting their taxes. within the Netherlands that activity takes a trifling fifteen mins! profitable American businesses like Apple, Caterpillar, and Google successfully pay no tax in any respect in a few situations due to loopholes that let them to maneuver earnings offshore. certainly, the dysfunctional tax procedure has turn into an incredible explanation for fiscal inequality.
In A effective Mess, T. R. Reid crisscrosses the globe looking for the precise options to those pressing difficulties. With an uncanny knack for creating a advanced topic not only available yet gripping, he investigates what makes strong taxation (no, that’s now not an oxymoron) and brings that wisdom domestic the place it's wanted such a lot. by no means conversing down or reflexively siding with both wing of politics, T. R. Reid presses the case for brilliant root-and-branch reforms with a companionable ebullience. This impacts every person. Doing our taxes will not be America's favourite hobby, however it can and may be lots more straightforward and fairer.
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Additional resources for A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
8%. 1%—lower than in most of the other rich democracies (although it’s obviously higher than in the countries with no tax on capital gains). 1% Sales Tax: Americans usually have to pay a retail sales tax on most things they buy at a store. Generally, there’s a state sales tax and often a city or county sales tax on top of that (although four states, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon, have no sales tax). 5 But the United States, as we’ve seen, has no national sales tax, or value-added tax.
There were only so many ports of entry, so this didn’t require a large number of tax offices. And this tax was not easy to evade; after all, it’s hard to conceal a clipper ship sailing into harbor with a cargo of tea from India. S. Customs House was the most imposing building in all port towns; these old structures can be seen today at the edge of Boston and Baltimore harbors. The handsome redbrick Customs House in Salem, Massachusetts, where Nathaniel Hawthorne worked while writing The Scarlet Letter, still stands as a reminder of the nation’s first revenue service.
And it’s not just the complexity problem that we could solve by taking a look at other countries. Almost every government on earth collects taxes (as we’ll see, there are a few lucky nations that get by just fine without taxing their citizens). Many of the developed countries have come up with tax systems that are simpler, fairer, and more efficient than ours. They can show us what to tax, how much to tax it, and how to collect the money that’s due. I traveled the globe looking at tax systems that work better than ours (and some that are worse).
A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System by T. R. Reid