Arguments about taxation are among the most heated--no other topic is as influential to the role of government and the distribution of costs and benefits in America. But while understanding of our tax system is of vital importance, the complexity can create confusion. Two of America's leading authorities on taxes, Leonard E. Burman and Joel Slemrod, bring clarity in this concise explanation of how our tax system works, how it affects people and businesses, and how it might be improved. The book explores what makes a tax system fair, simple, and efficient, why our system falls short, and whether the new tax law promises much, if any, improvement. Organized in a clear, question-and-answer format, the book describes the intricacies of the modern tax system in an easy-to-grasp manner. It has been revised and updated to both explain the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017, the most comprehensive reform of its income tax system since 1986, and to examine its likely effects on individuals, businesses, and society. Among the questions discussed are: 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? What kind of tax system is most conducive to economic growth? And, can taxes be fair?