I work in the public field and here if you do that, you can’t also work privately. This is why I made the terrible choice of wanting to do this under the table.
In October/November 2020 a person asked me to fix some things with his website and design a logo for his new flower shop. He asked for 50 minor and medium fixes in WordPress, which I was able to do for 90%, all the while telling him that WordPress couldn’t possibly handle all the very very very specific changes he had in mind.
Me: I’ve done the things you asked, except A, B, and C which are impossible. Since you’re a friend of my friend, I can make you a deal of 1500€ for 2 months of work.
Client: Thanks for the deal. As soon as the Covid funds for enterprises arrive, I’ll pay you.
Me: Hey, how’s it going?
Client: Hey there, sorry, still no funds.
Me: Hello there, do you have any news?
Client: Hey there, yeah! I’ll get back to you in two weeks.
Me: So, some time has passed already. Do you have any idea of when you’ll be able to send the payment?
Client: I’m about to open up my flower shop!
Me: That’s great! But what about the payment?
Client: Come visit me when I open up! I’ll treat you well!
Me: Hey there, here I am! The logo on your new shop looks great, glad you liked it.
Client: Yes, it’s working great. Here, take this vase of flowers! For free!
Me: That’s too kind of you, but about the payment…
Client: Not now please, there are customers around.
He’s employed someone to run the shop, so he apparently has money to pay her.
Me: Hi. Listen, I think six months is a bit too many to be paid for the work I’ve done for you.
Client: Times are tight. I’ll let you know ASAP.
Client: Bad news, the website must be rebuilt from scratch. I’ll let you know how this goes.
Me: Sorry for being this forward, but the work you asked me to do is done and I want to be paid for that.
Client: Stay calm! I only told you what’s going on! I didn’t tell you I won’t pay you so moderate the language! It is my fault that until now I have entrusted the project to the wrong and inadequate hands so I am not blaming anyone!
Me: I have been waiting for the payment for about 8 months, I guess a bit of paranoia is legitimate. I’ve never pushed you too hard, I’ve never been heavily on you, and I’m not asking you more than I am owed.
Client: I’ll need a formal invoice for your work, I can’t pay you under the table.
He does this knowing that I won’t be able to do so. However, my girlfriend, who actually did the logo for him, can.
Me: Sure, no problem. Here you go, but now it’s 2.000€ because of taxes.
It is now July, and have just received a letter from his lawyer demanding I pay him 15.000€ for the time I made him waste with incompetence and [quoting] “the money he lost because he trusted the wrong person.”