In episode one of Tokkan, they mention a film and now that series is over, I thought I'd track it down and take a look.
Like Tokkan, this is a story about a woman who is a tax inspector. It follows her career over a year or so, as she is promoted. The film follows a few cases but is mostly concerned with the one at the beginning of the film. She is unable to close the case, so when fresh evidence comes to light later on, she picks it up again.
It won lots of awards on its release in 1987, and I can imagine how original it must have seemed back then. The opening sequence of short scenes setting up the tax evader Gondo's various scams is a great introduction to his world.
There's almost no moralising from the tax evaders. Mind you, how could there be since this was set in a time when the Japanese economy was booming, so there weren't as many hard-luck stories.
You can't really compare it to Tokkan, despite both being about tax evasion. Tokkan had so many explanations that it was almost like a public information film at times. A Taxing Woman lets the story flow, which I think is the main difference. The comedy is more understated, and the acting more naturalistic.
Mind you, I kept being distracted by the size of mobile phones in those days. They needed to be carried round in a bag! How times have changed.