Check Please (International New York Times)
LISBON — Raquel and I had finished our drinks, and as the waiter was preparing our check at the counter he asked Raquel for her taxpayer I.D. number. She stiffened slightly; she had been waiting for this moment.
Providing one’s number is voluntary, but since the beginning of the year, under a raft of tax reforms, it is now encouraged. A new legal regime meant to curb undeclared sales by shop-owners and small businesses gives a modest tax rebate to customers who disclose information about their purchases.
Raquel glanced discreetly into her purse, where nine digits were scrawled on a torn piece of notebook paper. She began to copy them down on the receipt, along with the name affiliated with the I.D. number. “Pedro Coelho,” she wrote, with a twitch of mischief.