Feeling the tax time blues? Are you confused, confounded, and in despair? So are we. Luckily, Joel Slemrod and Jon Bakija have outlined America’s tax system from its origins to the debates circulating today in Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen’s Guide to the Debate over Taxes.
Confusion about filing taxes is common and even expected of most taxpayers. But it’s not an issue of American intelligence; rather it is the product of the system. Slemrod and Bakija discuss the complex nature of America’s tax system, stating, “The fact that in some situations, neither tax professionals nor the IRS itself can be sure of the taxpayer’s tax liability is just one indicator of the tax system’s complexity. Another is the sheer length of the tax code.”
Did you know that America’s first income tax was a temporary emergency measure used during the Civil War? It was enacted in 1861. The Tax History Project is a great site to visit if you’re interested in finding out more about the history of taxation in America.