I think the IRS would’ve been right at home in Sauron’s Mordor. They could have occupied one of the Black Gate installations with several dozen floors of cubicle farms humming with black-suited bureaucrats sending forth their orc minions armed with forms in triplicate.
Middle Earth would have crumbled into ruin under the onslaught of W4s and informational circulars and audits. The end of civilization these days does not come about at the hands of the Nazgul or the Visigoths; rather, it comes in the mail in the form of a devastating audit.
“Mr. Baggins, we’re here to audit your accounts. It’s come to our attention that you have some unreported income…loot from trolls, you say? Do you have a license to loot trolls? No? I’m afraid that’ll entail an additional penalty of 10%, plus 2.2% compounded daily from the date of the infraction.”
“You’ll have to pay 25% on the capital gains from that Arkenstone, Mr. Oakenshield…”
“Do you have a business license for selling this lembas, Mr. Legolas? We thought not. Now, if you’ll just fill out this Y93, as well as these fifty-seven other documents before next Tuesday. You’ll also have to pay a penalty of…”