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Charles Renwick
All the Presidents' Taxes

Adult; Business & Personal Finance; (Market)

Let's assume the Presidents' are doing their taxes legally. If so, we can look at what they are doing and learn a thing or two. However, we first need to discuss the history of taxes in the US and what not to do. This is a fun book that can actually help you save money on taxes.
Renwick debuts with a fun and lively look at the taxes of American presidents, covering their tax mistakes (as in the case of Nixon), their occasional bursts of public-spirited largesse (Lincoln oversaw the creation of the income tax and paid his in full, even though this “wasn’t a clear requirement for the president”), and their strategies, especially among recent chief executives, for avoiding having to make maximum payments. Written with an eye for what readers can learn about their own tax burdens, All the President’s Taxes offers a brisk history of the income tax in America, amusing, persuasive assessments of whether recent presidents and some other politicians are tax cheats (Nixon yes; Carter no; Trump unclear), and clear-eyed explications of issues like the distinction between tax avoidance—legal!—and tax evasion—not!

“Even though taxes are necessary for the success of the country, there’s no ethical obligation to pay more than what is owed,” Renwick, a CPA, notes in his entertaining survey of the fractious history of American taxation, which considers with clear eyes issues of fairness and politics. The book’s second half, meanwhile, is dedicated to the specifics of the taxes of the 45th and 46th presidents, which Renwick probes closely, asking tough questions and explaining the complex intricacies. Biden’s S-Corp strategy of tax minimization, Renwick notes, is a loophole that the Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice president, endeavored to close. (Renwick makes the case that its administrative costs might not be efficient for less well-heeled taxpayers.)

The taxes of Trump, meanwhile, have been a source of media mystery and excitement for years now, and Renwick devotes a near third of the book to parsing techniques like Trump’s lavish deduction strategies, which can inspire reader deductions, and his paying salaries to family members. Renwick covers how you, too, can turn an allowance into paid labor—and reap the tax benefits without getting in trouble.

Takeaway: This entertaining survey of American presidents’ taxes offers solid strategies for reducing your own burden.

Great for fans of: Joel Slemrod & Michael Keen’s Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue, Eva Rosenberg’s Deduct Everything!

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A-