The Romans did one thing right, and that’s personally soliciting taxes. The Romans did it, and I do it.
The key to soliciting taxes is spontaneity. Visit at any time of day. Night works best. Don’t tell them why you’re there. Just say that you need to talk and not about what. If they try to shut the door, put a foot in and say you know some boys down at the IRS and you don’t want to get audited, do you?
If they’re defensive, you’re persuasive. If they’re quarrelsome, you’re aggressive. If they’re reluctant, you’re aggressive. But it’s not always that easy.
The other day, I had a real tough customer. Middle-aged, white-collar guy, a real pushover I thought. So I get inside; that part was easy. But he wants to see some identification. I pull out a roll of cash and ask where he thinks I got this? I can tell he’s scared. I’m halfway there.
I ask if he’s paid his taxes. He says it’s June. Don’t be fresh with me I say; does he really want to be fresh to his county tax assessor? He claims he paid, and I tell him that I’m the one who collects, and don’t you think I’d damn well know? He gets some “documentation.” I rip it up.
Now he’s yelling, but I’m screaming. A baby is crying. It’s his lucky day, I say too softly; looks like you’ve got a dependent to go claim.
He comes back from the baby, and I hit him hard. I tell him we can do this the hard way or the easy way. Before he knows it, there’s a 1040ez in front of him, and he’s filling it out. Fast, dirty, no write-offs, minimal returns.
I get cash, and he gets a receipt. I tell him don’t lose it, and he’ll need it when I come back. So I’m about to walk out when this prick asks about his return. I say if he wants me to come back to his house, in the middle of the night, wake up his baby, and really give it to him, I’d be thrilled.
But returns are mail only.