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Need to Know: January 11, 2013: A tale of four tax returns


As the discussion goes on in Washington about revising the federal tax code, “Need to Know” profiles four New Jersey residents with dramatically different incomes to demonstrate how current tax regulations disproportionately benefit some Americans more than others.

Their returns not only look very different because of their wildly different incomes.  They also offer a glimpse into the enormously complicated U.S. tax code where a set of very particular and personal circumstances – from having kids, to owning a home, to living in a state with high taxes, to the way they earn their money – can change the tax rate paid by multiple percentage points.  Need to Know’s Megan Thompson reports.

>Read the full transcript.

Taking on the tax system:

Five tax terms you need to know

Confused about Earned Income Credits and capital gains? Five terms that dominate the tax debate.

Cleaning up the tax mess

A panel of tax experts who debate how to fix the tax mess. Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer; Emory University tax law expert Dorothy Brown; Bruce Bartlett, who served presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush; and Cato Institute economist Dan Mitchell. (March 2012)

FRONTLINE: Tax Me If You Can

In “Tax Me If You Can,” FRONTLINE correspondent Hedrick Smith investigates the rampant abuse of tax shelters since the late 1990s.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.

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