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Lights! Camera! Taxes! The IRS's Star Turn

By Suzanne Woolley and Ben Steverman - 2013-03-27T17:11:31Z

Photograph by Everett Collection

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'The Firm' (1993)

Tom Cruise plays a lawyer who finds out that some big unsavory strings are attached to his too-good-to-be-true employment offer from Bendini, Lambert & Locke. "Since we deal primarily in taxes and securities, our clients are very wealthy and keep each other's secrets," a partner says in the movie. Secrets like how to launder money for the Mafia. As one partner in the movie describes the firm's raison d'etre: Tax law is "a game we teach the rich to play so they can stay rich. The IRS keeps changing the rules so we can keep getting rich teaching them."

Tax takeaway: The IRS has at least one very satisfied constituency -- tax lawyers.