I went in person again this year. I don't mind going. The tax office always has a cohort of uni students who have volunteered (or been volunteered, as one told me last year), to assist foreigners with their tax returns. This typically means a group of a dozen girls hanging around the tables and computers, waiting with cheerful if apprehensive expressions for foreigners to arrive. The morning I went, I saw a single guy in the group, and I have to say the pink and gray polo neck uniform looked more appropriate on his XX chromosome colleagues.
No sooner had I approached the stack of tax declaration documents, than I was engaged by a taller than usual girl with a soft Canadian accent and very good English who ensured I had selected the correct form. I had only just sat down at a table and taken a pen, when there materialized next to me a much smaller girl with short bobbed hair dyed in the rusty colour so common here, and who spoke almost no English other than the numbers from one to ten and a small handful of other words. As I filled in the first part of the form (with which I was very familiar after six years), she accompanied me with a commentary in Chinese, which I supposed was her way of being helpful.
I made appreciative noises for her sake, and concentrated on writing as she burbled away happily. It seemed not to have occurred to her that explaining to me in Chinese sections of the form which were marked clearly in English was somewhat redundant, but it was obviously helping her feel useful so I concentrated on picking up a few Chinese words for next time. Intent on completing my form as soon as possible in order to get to a company meeting on time, I didn't even look at her until she asked me (again in Chinese), if I had stayed in Taiwan the requisite number of years to qualify as a tax resident and wanted to check my passport for my entry and exit dates.
Finally turning to acknowledge her, I found myself in front of a small girl looking approximately sixteen, with large puppy dog eyes radiating an expression of embarrassingly earnest desire to please. I'm not a morning person at the best of times, and this was a little too much to handle before 9am. I felt about 80 years old, and wanted to go home, crawl into a sarcophagus, and wait for the mercifully inevitable.