George Lucas Educational Foundation
Financial Literacy

5-Minute Film Festival: Death and Taxes

With April 15th right around the corner, here’s a collection of fun short videos — a few to learn about income tax, but mostly to indulge in some tax-time humor.

April 13, 2012

No matter what your political leanings are, most people get a little stressed during tax season, and teachers are no exception. Since April 15th is tax day in the U.S., I've put together a collection of fun short videos -- a few to learn about income tax, but mostly to indulge in some much-needed tax-time humor.

Death and Taxes

Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.

  1. Schoolhouse Rock: Tax Man Max (03:24)

    Ah, a classic Schoolhouse Rock song about the tax man. "Be kind to your parents at tax time!" These sure bring me back...

  2. The Tax Kids! (01:21)

    Are you scared of the IRS? Call the Tax Kids! Cute ad produced by a real tax assistance agency.

  3. Benjamin Franklin's Dire Outlook on Taxes (01:56)

    Where did the quote "Nothing is certain except for death and taxes" come from? Why, Ben Franklin, of course.

  4. Students at A.J. Moore Academy Do Taxes (02:02)

    A group of enterprising high school students in Central Texas have learned to prepare tax returns. Tax help from teens for free!

  5. Donald Duck: The New Spirit (07:22)

    Disney film made in 1942 for the US Treasury Department: vintage American wartime propaganda. A fascinating historical snapshot regardless of your politics.

  6. This Accountant Is in Need! (05:45)

    Thanks, Ellen Degeneres, for providing a much-needed giggle (at the expense of an accountant in Oregon) on April 14th.

  7. The Income Tax by the Yacht Club Boys (03:39)

    Looking for a funny song about paying taxes from a Depression-era quartet of American comic singers? I've got you covered.

  8. Tax Deductions for Teachers (05:59)

    Dry, but helpful -- this video will makes sure you get the most out of deductions for money you spent on classroom supplies and other education-related expenses.

More Resources for Teaching at Tax Time

Tax time can also be an opportunity for teaching about financial literacy. Edutopia offers a great resource page, "Money Lessons: A Guide to Financial-Literacy Resources," and we've just published a package about a school in Chicago that uses teaching about finance as the backbone of their curriculum, "Financial Literacy Makes School Relevant." If you're looking for resources specifically for teaching about income taxes, the IRS offers a comprehensive website for teachers, "Understanding Taxes Teacher Site," which provides lesson plans, links to state and national standards, and plentiful resources and downloads to support the lessons. On the same site, you can also connect with a program called VITA e3 (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), a full curriculum for training high school students how to prepare taxes for the community (hint: it's the same one used by the school in video #5, above).

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