Top Tax Lessons from the Movies

Top Tax Lessons from the Movies

You’d think that taxes wouldn’t make a compelling subject for movies, but you’d be wrong. Taxes appear as key plot points and motivators for many famous films and beloved cinematic classics. And those movies don’t just offer quality visuals, astonishing thrills, and hearty laughs: Some of them also offer valuable tax lessons!

At Hacker Accounting, we love watching movies that talk about taxes. Here are a few of the best tax lessons you can learn from the movies.

Related: 3 Bank Accounts Every Business Owner Should Have

Debt Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

In “Happy Gilmore” the specter of debt hangs over Happy and his grandmother. But that debt doesn’t crush them: In fact, that debt is the spur that has Happy charging towards his destiny! While debt is never welcome, it can be a positive force in your life: It can encourage you to make changes in your life that can streamline and simplify it. Debt can inspire you to take financial and creative risks that you wouldn’t take normally. Look at films like “The Blues Brothers”, where characters scramble to put together a big show to pay off their taxes. These kind of events build character and community. Debt is an obstacle and a challenge, but sometimes it takes hurdling over an obstacle and conquering a challenge for us to become who we truly mean to be.

You Can’t Run From The I.R.S.

Al Capone was one of the most notorious and feared gangsters in American history. He organized rackets, orchestrated brutal murders, and was a thorn in the law’s side. What got him sent to prison? Tax evasion. The I.R.S. have one thing with the Mounties: They always get their man.

This is something that often pops up in movies, like in Scorsese’s masterful “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Neglecting your taxes has very real, life-upending consequences. It can be easy to get so caught up in the rush of running a business and capitalizing on opportunities that you ignore or brush aside handling your commitments to the I.R.S. DON’T DO IT.

You’re Not As Smart As You Think You Are

Insurance frauds and tax schemes rarely turn out well. You can see this in the comedy classic “The Producers”: No matter how good their plan was, authorities we able to capture them in the end. And in “The Shawshank Redemption”, we saw how the warden’s cutting corners on his taxes lead to his eventual downfall.

Here’s what you need to understand: The I.R.S .has seen EVERY kind of trick. If you thought of a “clever” way to save on taxes or dodge them entirely, don’t pat yourself on the back- They’ve already thought of it, too. The investigative resources and pool of knowledge of the I.R.S. is vast and considerable. It’s a lesson that comes up time and again in movies: “Crime doesn’t pay”.

Related: Pros And Cons Of DIY Taxes

For more top tax lessons or more information about our accounting and bookkeeping services, give Hacker Accounting a call at 602-375-5251.

Chris Hacker
Chris has been working in the bookkeeping and accounting field for over 15 years preparing business, income and payroll taxes. Chris has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State and is an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service.