Friday, 20 April 2012
ITINs and not paying US tax to the IRS
Unless a British author applies to the IRS for the right paperwork, Amazon will retain 30% tax on all US book sales. Everything I'd heard about applying for an ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number) stressed how difficult, nay impossible, the process was. I'd read so many 'helpful' horror stories that I kept putting it off.
This February, my sales with a KDP Select Remix promotion were such that Amazon was going to withhold about $2,000 in US tax. This galvanized me into action, and I visited the American Embassy in London on 22nd February. I took with me:
I took lots of other stuff too - a blue pen, printouts of my sales, my Citibank dollar chequebook, a UK tax letter, two paperbacks in case of queues, but needed none of them. After going through various checkpoints, a nice chap copied my passport, stamped it, my letter and form, and told me I should receive a certificate in due course, which could be several months. When I had it, I was to send it with Form W-8BEN to Amazon. The whole thing took twenty minutes.
My ITIN arrived in the post from America on the 26th March, and I posted the W-8BEN to Amazon. And yesterday I received an email from Amazon (I'd emailed to ask if it had arrived) saying: The form arrived recently and it was just recorded for your account. Your withholding rate is now set to 0%.
And that was it. David Gaughran describes how to get an EIN instead of an ITIN over the phone here - but the word is you need persistence - they may put you on hold for half an hour or cut you off.
Posted by Lexi at Friday, April 20, 2012