dead•beat noun \‘ded-beet\
1 : LOAFER.
2 : one who persistently fails to pay personal debts or expenses.
Thanks to the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary, I have a description of a certain person given in words that are fit to print. Had I tried defining the individual on my own, it would have started with $#!†#∞@) and continued on with a much more foul tone.
Of course, I am talking about the dictionary’s definition #2. Had I been speaking to definition #1, I’d probably have to include myself as an occasional practitioner. After all, it’s difficult not to loaf about in paradise from time to time.
THE STORY’S BACKGROUND
As you may or may not know, I own and operate a business. My company (Keating & Chillingsworth, Ltd.) provides assistance to those seeking a champion in their fight with the Internal Revenue Service. From preparing income tax returns to representing poor souls in tax court, my business spans the gamut of almost all things tax related. One of the company’s specialties is helping expats “stay legal” with their income tax situation.
I had occassion last May 2012 to make the acquaintance of Mr. Deadbeat. He is an expat living in Angeles City who had contacted me with an urgent need to file amended individual income tax returns (federal and state) for tax years 2010 and 2011 as well as an amended corporate income tax return for his Subchapter S corporation for tax year 2011. On top of these tasks was an hour’s worth of tax consulting regarding tax law and its relation to business operations.
A location of Angeles City should have given me a tip-off to watch my step. I plead naivety!
If you remember, I wasn’t in very good health last May 2012. I must admit that my guard wasn’t fully up, and I agreed to provide my services to Mr. Deadbeat prior to receiving any remuneration. I have, in the past, agreed to similar business arrangements with other clients who were in dire need of speedy resolution. This instance, outside of Mr. Deadbeat being a potential client, was vastly similar.
With the coming of invoice time, all similarity ended. Mr. Deadbeat became “Mr. Nil-Heard” and dropped off the radar screen. Emails with the invoice attached received no response. Numerous inquiries were afforded the same silent treatment. I called his company and, after being directed straight to voice mail left message after message requesting that Mr. Deadbeat get in touch with me at his earliest convenience. Obviously, I’m a very inconvenient correspondent.
Being in the States during its summertime wasn’t very helpful, either. I’m almost sure that Mr. Deadbeat used the distance in thousands of miles to his advantage. Now that I’m back in the Philippines, and in much better health, the quest for contact continues. This time, I’ve included texts and phone calls to his cellphone among the mix of communications attacks. The results to date, “no response”! (Gee, who would have thought . . . .)
So there we are. Mr. Deadbeat remains Mr. Incommunicado. Did I mention that the invoice is for more than $500? It was a considerable amount of work at an expedited pace and the price is more than fair. Did I mention that the net result of the amended returns was a tax benefit of over $25,000? There was a lot of effort and research that went into those amended returns and their resultant tax savings (read: REFUND) were well worth the price charged for the work!
THE PROBLEM CONTINUES
So, to what point does this bring us? I’ll continue to employ regular, normal means to establish communications. Deep down, I have a positive view of all people and have a secret wish that Mr. Deadbeat is just unable to communicate at the present time. Who knows: his email address might have changed, as well as the SIM card in his cellphone, for reasons unrelated to this story.
I’ll give him just a little more time before making the decision of whether or not this goes to a collection agency. I do know of a couple of agencies here in the Philippines (one coincidentally located in Angeles City) that employ rather aggressive techniques when handling deadbeats. How aggressive? I’ll leave that to your imagination.
WHAT’S THE FUTURE HOLD ?
The future of this story may well appear in print here in Live in the Philippines. If this story continues in an unfavorable way, then names could be named, addresses could be identified, and a whole lot of additional information regarding Mr. Deadbeat’s identity could be exposed. Who knows, maybe there might be a crude wanted poster posted in a follow-on article. It’s all up to Mr. Deadbeat. If he comes through with payment, then I’ll gladly remove his title and make known his integrity, complete with reasons why such a delay in payment had occurred.
Otherwise . . . .
Paul is a CPA and a retired tax accountant, having served companies and corporations of all sizes, as well as individuals, in public accounting practices. Prior to what he refers to as his "real job," he served a 24-year career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer. It was during this career that he met and married his OFW spouse of 35+ years, Emy, while stationed in London, UK. (Though he pleaded for the assignment, Paul never received orders to the Philippines.) A "Phil-phile" from an early age, Paul remembers his first introduction to the Philippines in the primary grades of a parochial elementary school where, one week each year, children donated their pennies to purchase school supplies, food and other necessities for Filipino children in need. That love for Filipinos continues to this day. Calling Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte--in the far northwestern part of Luzon--home (just about as far away from Davao as one can be while still being on one of the major islands) Paul prefers a more relaxed provincial life style, and willingly shares a different view of the Philippines from "up north"!