One way to keep yourself from being assaulted in prison: befriend the guards by doing their tax returns. That’s what convicted murderer Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) does in The Shawshank Redemption. Soon, he’s using his knowledge of tax law loopholes and other accounting tricks to help the warden graft money and hide it off the books. As Andy notes with bemused bitterness, he’d been an honest man on the outside, but prison had made him a crook.
Andy’s only real miscalculation is to make himself indispensable to the greedy warden, who goes to shocking lengths to prevent evidence that Andy was framed for killing his wife from seeing the light of day. But that’s also the warden’s greatest miscalculation, as he discovers after Andy escapes, empties the off-book accounts, and implicates the warden for all his crimes. Andy finds a haven on the beach in Zihuantanejo, which may be a great place to build a boat, but it’s also a decent tax shelter.
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