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Archived Author Help > Please help a newbie author out!

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message 1: by Kay (new)

Kay Botha | 31 comments As a non-US citizen, the whole financial fiasco involved with selling on Smashwords and Amazon is confusing me into a hole. Helpful resources for non-citizens or a quick tip or two would really help me out. Also, ITIN/EIN- are they needed to recieve payments, or is it just to avoid the 30% tax deduction?


message 2: by Peter (new)

Peter Whitaker | 8 comments Hello Kay.
I found epublishing quite confusing to begin with. I started with Amazon-UK being English and although their system is very much a step by step approach I also got lost on the US tax system. The EIN allows you to claim the whole of your royalties as it confirms your status for tax purposes and it is worth pursuing. Look for some Kindle forums, both here and at Amazon, and you will come across the subject and tips from those who have done this.


message 3: by Kay (new)

Kay Botha | 31 comments Thanks Peter. Would you advise than to pursue an EIN instead of an ITIN?


message 4: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McShane | 10 comments Hi Kay,
I think the set-up is different depending on where you come from. I had to find out if my country (Ireland) had a tax treaty with the US (we do) and fill in my TIN - tax identification number. Here we call it something completely different, and maybe this is where you're getting held up too? So I had to go to my tax forms and find the number we use in Ireland for the same purposes. It'll be on your pay-slips, tax refunds ... those kind of things. I guess the IRS want to make sure you're paying any relevant taz in your own country. And then, like Peter says, check perhaps the Amazon forums to make sure it's the right number. I can't remember what I did to make sure I had the right number - possibly googled it. But it all went through ok and then you just have to do a digital signature. So you can do it all online in a short space of time.
I actually put off self-publishing for ages once I saw the IRS part. I hadn't a clue. Then came one of my (rare) determined days, and it wasn't as scary as it seemed to begin with. Oh, and once you fill it in once, you don't have to do it the for the next book - or I didn't, anyway. I haven't gotten to Smashwords yet. I'm waiting till the end of my Kindle select period before branching out. I was hoping their forms wouldn't be as confusing.


message 5: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Kay wrote: "Thanks Peter. Would you advise than to pursue an EIN instead of an ITIN?"

An ITIN is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number so your income can be reported to whatever authority. In the US, an EIN is an Employer ID Number, so unless you have employees (and all that that implies), it does not apply.


message 6: by Kay (new)

Kay Botha | 31 comments Gotcha. I live in South Africa, am not employed and will not earn anything over the tax threshold for a very long time, so because of this I'm not required to register as a tax payer in my country. So is an ITIN (and the other forms and letters required) all I need? I've looked through SW but they werent clear about whether I needed a tax number in my own country or not.


message 7: by Peter (new)

Peter Whitaker | 8 comments Kay wrote: "Thanks Peter. Would you advise than to pursue an EIN instead of an ITIN?"

Sorry not to have responded sooner but I have been a bit busy writing!
I appear to have an EIN number! I followed hte Amazon.co.uk procedure for setting up an account and applied for US tax relief. From what I can remember the process was completed online and progressing one step at a time. I answered questions/made choices and completed the form. They then sent me an EIN number and everything has been fine.
I'm not an accountant and I found it all bewildering at first but I seem to have gotten it sorted.
Good luck!


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