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Why won't some contractors write anything down and only accept cash as payment?

I've had seven maintenance contractors for various projects and only one wrote an itemized list of the work and the price. The others were only verbal "bottom line" estimates, so I have no idea what they will do or how, and would not accept a personal check. This makes me very wary of those guys.

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  • hooray
    Lv 5
    8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    You are right to be wary. Don't be seduced by a low price or big promises. The contractors who want to keep everything verbal and cash only are doing so for two reasons: 1. Tax evasion, which is against the law. 2. Avoiding responsibility for their work by preventing a recorded trail of involvement with you. Unless something else puts you off, choose the one who supplied an itemised quote, provided he will also invoice you and accept payment to be properly recorded with a receipt. I prefer business communication by email and payment by credit card or bank transfer, as these methods leave identifiable records.

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  • 8 months ago

    they may be dodging ,,the tax guy, or , the building reg bureau that suspended his license for vios of bldg codes,

    a guy who is reputable gives w written bid,labour and mats,,materials at cost,,time for completion,,provide references, total cost you you,in advance

    if he balks at any of these search again,

    a local real estate guy who is long term,who sees you as a potential customer,is usually motivated to give you a couple names of competent repair guys.

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  • 8 months ago

    they wish to avoid paying taxes.

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  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    Tax evasion usually or because it is a small job. It cost more to do paperwork than it is really worth it. It goes under the same category as lawn cutting. Do you get a contractual agreement from the kid that cuts the grass? No. You pay him cash and that is the end of it.

    Nobody wants a personal check because too many of those checks are NSF or (rubber) checks as they bounce. If you can't afford to pay for it, then the contractors do not want to work for you. (Look at Trump...he scammed many contractors out of money he owed them for work they did for Trump on his hotels and his golf courses and casinos...it seems the richest ones are the real scumbags.) In the end, the contractor does the job BUT NOW CANNOT COLLECT THE MONEY OWED TO HIM from you. Putting a lien against your house may not do him any good for years because you don't need anything else done...so he is out money for the work he did. Trump is famous for not paying his workers.

    You home owners or Landlords can be a SCUMMY LOT...and screws the hardworking tradesman who is just trying to keep food on the table.

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  • 8 months ago

    I would not hire anyone unless the scope of the job and the cost were in writing. Otherwise, there is no real understanding between the worker and the homeowner as to expectations. Having something in writing keeps everyone involved in the loop of understanding the scope of the project goals and considerations.

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  • 8 months ago

    They prefer cash so they don't have to claim it on their federal taxes.

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  • 8 months ago

    If they don't write repairs and cost down, then you do it. And hopefully they will at least sign it.

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  • elhigh
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Taxes. Specifically, tax avoidance. If there's no paper trail, no money changed hands. Not officially, anyway.

    Also if nothing was written down, there's nothing you can point to in a court and say "this is where he failed to do what he said he would do."

    Long story short, if the contractor won't write anything down and insists on cash, skip him. He'll do a crap job, not finish and won't pick up the phone when you try to call him to actually fulfill his promises.

    • hooray
      Lv 5
      8 months agoReport

      Tax evasion in fact, which I think is what you meant. Tax avoidance is often unethical, but it employs legal methods to reduce payment. Tax evasion uses deception and is illegal.

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  • 8 months ago

    You should be wary.

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  • audrey
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Get everything they're gonna do and what it will cost itemized in writing! If they don't want to do that, get someone that will.

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