Author Topic: Tax Exemption for overseas authors  (Read 891 times)

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Offline Peter M

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Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« on: February 09, 2014, 06:46 PM »
Hi there


A very dry topic here.


Has anyone successfully applied for an EIN number over the phone to register for US tax exemption?


I would be particularly interested to hear from people outside of the USA who are published or represented inside of the USA?


Cheers


Pete




http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc755.html
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Offline Peter M

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 09:47 PM »
Answered my own question. Phoned up and got one today. Simple and straight forward procedure.
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Offline Artemesia

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2014, 12:33 AM »
You phoned? Is this the same as an ITIN? I'm Canadian and I've been told to mail in a form to get an Individual Tax Identification Number so that I can be exempt from US withholding tax. But a phone call seems easier and faster.
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Offline Artemesia

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 12:35 AM »
I looked at your link, employer identification number. Are you using this for yourself as an author?
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Offline Franzilla

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 10:13 AM »
I used an ITIN, like Arte, when I worked IN the USA. But when I have done any work for companies in the USA but was residing in the UK or now, in Chile, I filled out a form that made me tax exempt each time (a W-8 BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner f[size=78%]or United States Tax Withholding). [/size]

Offline C.K.

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 11:57 AM »
I'm a Canadian who has had my work published in the U.S. and also used an ITIN in conjunction with a W-8 BEN. There's a thread on the Amazon Kindle board that touches on the differences and similarities between an EIN and ITIN:

https://kdp.amazon.com/community/message.jspa?messageID=225320
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Offline Artemesia

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2014, 12:02 PM »
Yes, that's what my agent said. To get the ITIN and then do the W-8 BEN.


How long did it take to get the ITIN? I'm just in the process of going to get certified copies of my ID.
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Offline Franzilla

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2014, 04:59 PM »
I can't remember, Arte, sorry. I don't think it was very long, though, as I needed mine to get paid... so if it had taken ages I would've remembered!

Offline C.K.

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 05:14 PM »
I can't recall either - sorry, it was a good few years ago. But last year I read somewhere that it takes a couple of weeks longer during peak tax season.
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Offline Peter M

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2014, 02:32 AM »
Hi Artemisa

Sorry, been away for a while. Just noticed your question. My EIN was issued by phone with a 1 hour wait on hold. To complete it by mail could have taken up to 6 months. Here is a note about ITIN vs EIN:

http://www.licenselogix.com/ein-vs-itin-number.aspx

My EIN does not require a tax return to be filed. I am also a self employed sole proprietor. So EIN is my most appropriate choice.

Cheers

Pete
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Offline Barbara Etlin

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2014, 10:22 AM »
Peter, where do you live?

I live in Canada.

For my self-published humorous poetry book, I am the sole proprietor of my publishing company. To use CreateSpace as my printer and Amazon.com as my distributor, I needed to fill in a W8-BEN and for that I needed to get an EIN from the IRS.

I faxed the appropriate form (I can't remember the number) to the IRS to get my EIN. The IRS faxed my number back to me about a week later.
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Offline Artemesia

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2014, 10:29 AM »
Thanks for coming back and sharing, Pete. I ended up getting an ITIN. I found an IRS acceptance agent here where I live (I hadn't even heard of acceptance agents but I stumbled on the term looking on the IRS site) so it made things much quicker. They were able to confirm my identification for the IRS (so i didnt have to worry about certified copies) and do all the paperwork. He suggested we file a tax return as they automatically assign the ITIN when you do that, and I didn't have funds withheld by my publisher or agent. That also meant I didn't need a letter from my publisher. (My agent had requested one but they said to use my contract, according to the acceptance agent recent criteria changes have made that unacceptable) I got the ITIN in the mail in about 3 or 4 weeks, during tax season, which was much faster than I had expected. For the tax return and ITIN it cost $300, which is a lot, but can be written off as an expense. But it was worth it for me.

Just thought this might help others going though the process.
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Offline Artemesia

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2014, 10:30 AM »
Crossposted with Barb.
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Offline Peter M

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2014, 04:54 AM »
Great. Yes, this thread is technical and more suited for accountants, but many authors will have to engage in this information whether they want to or not. I am a self employed full time author in New Zealand. Our book industry was wiped out by the GFC. It will never return. NZ authors now must either physically move overseas or work with a network of overseas agents to continue their careers. I have been treated very welcomingly so far by the US book industry, and am keen to continue developing my craft to the best of my abilities.


Cheers


Pete
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Offline Peter M

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Re: Tax Exemption for overseas authors
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2014, 07:05 PM »
I can't believe I'm posting again already. I have another question - On the W8-Ben form you usually write 'Royalties-12, Other.' as source of income. What happens if you receive a flat fee payment amongst your regular royalty book work?  Does that qualify as 'Other'? Or do you create a new W8-Ben?

Thanks

Pete
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