Films on Taxes

Were Not Broke

Documentary 2012 NR 1hr 20m. In this searing exposĂ©, filmmakers explore the discontent of activists fed up with a government that allows U.S. corporations to skip out on paying their fair share of taxes. Many make billions in profits but pay $0 in taxes, leaving consumers to shoulder the brunt of a great recession. See Full Review

An Inconvenient Tax

Documentary 2011 NR 1hr 18m. Economists, politicians and industrialists weigh in on the U.S. income tax system in this 90-minute documentary showing how the tax code has grown and changed in response to military conflicts, economic changes and an ever-evolving political climate. Informative documentary about how obnoxious the current tax code has become, how it got that way, and some ideas about how we might fix it.

Tax Me if You Can

Documentary Frontline 2004. The tax shelter was one of corporate America’s biggest hidden profit centers in recent years. Shelters have become so lucrative that some experts estimate as much as $50 billion is lost to the U.S. Treasury each year. And ordinary taxpayers wind up footing the bill. Frontline correspondent Hedrick Smith provides an inside look at how big corporations and wealthy individuals cut their taxes with intricate, hidden, and abusive tax shelters and investigates the role of blue chip accounting firms in these secret deals.

America: Freedom to Fascism

Documentary 2006 NR 105 minutes. Acclaimed filmmaker Aaron Russo directs this thorough investigation into the creation of the Federal Reserve and the controversial legislation (or lack thereof) that requires all American citizens to pay income taxes. Through revelatory interviews with key members of Congress, a former IRS Commissioner, tax attorneys, agents from the IRS and FBI, and various authors, Russo demystifies federal income tax and the creation of money.

Taxes Behind Closed Doors

Documentary Frontline 1986. For more than a year, Frontline has been behind the scenes with congressmen and lobbyists covering the deals, dollars, and politics of tax reform. Correspondent William Greider investigates how Washington really works as seen through this exclusive access to the inner circles of Congress.

Stranger Than Fiction

Drama 2006 PG-13 113 minutes. As best-selling novelist Kay Eiffel struggles with how to kill off her main character, IRS auditor Harold Crick begins hearing her voice in his head and slowly realizes that he must stop his own death. If there was a movie to watch on tax day, Stranger Than Fiction would be it. Will Ferrell plays a dreaded tax man. He’s cold, emotionless, and generally in a state of boredom with his life. He meets Maggie Gyllenhaaland a striking romance occurs. Of course, as the title suggests, he’s actually a character in the mind of someone else, and there is another layer that the movie delves into. The first hour is loaded with tax law, taxman cliches, and hilarious tax jokes.

The Firm

Drama 1993 R 154 minutes. When Harvard Law School graduate Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) joins a prestigious firm, he ignores the warning of his wife (Jeanne Tripplehorn), who fears the lucrative deal sounds too good to be true. Of course, it turns out to be too good to be true, and when the FBI gets involved, Cruise gets in over his head. In the end, this firm was doing a lot of bad, bad things, including IRS and tax fraud/evasion. This should remind everyone to pay the big guy up-front. When two of Mitch’s colleagues die in a mysterious accident, he launches an investigation into the firm and finds himself entangled in a web of Mafia connections and FBI operatives. Gene Hackman costars in this thriller based on John Grisham’s novel.

The Untouchables

Docudrama 1987 R 119 minutes. You may be Robert De Niro playing one of the most infamous organized crime bosses ever (Al Capone), but you still can’t get away without paying the government. In the end, it wasn’t his dealings with criminals, heinous actions, or even his general devil may care attitude, no — it was his taxes. Man, you really need a good accountant in order to make it in this world. Better yet, a clever accountant.

The Blues Brothers

Comedy 1980 R 148 minutes. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd lay waste to Chicago as the title characters, a pair of two-bit crooks on a quest to save the Catholic orphanage where they were raised by reuniting their former band for a charity gig. Why did Dan Akroyd and John Belushi set out on the road and get the band back together? Well, it was a mission from God, but it was also about taxes. The Catholic Orphanage that they grew up in is in touble. Turns out, they owe Uncle Sam about $5,000 in taxes. After receiving “the light”, they decide they have to make the money and give it to the orphanage. Who would have known that such a trip would all be due to the IRS… well, and God of course. Along the way, the duo runs afoul of Illinois state troopers, a neo-Nazi leader (Henry Gibson) and a vindictive ex-girlfriend (Carrie Fisher). Musical turns by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and James Brown punctuate the frenetic action.


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