I have looked through KDP and IRS online and various other sites, but I can't seem to find a satisfactory answer.
Amazon sent me through this form, which basically is showing that the US government is witholding a very small amount of money earned from a couple of book sales.
So, what do I do with this now? KDP says it can't help with tax issues and that I need to find advice elsewhere. I have been to the website advised and it doesn't actually tell me what I need to do! Google is not being friendly with this, so I thought I'd put the question out there.
Yeah. I just went through the IRS 1042-S instructions and they're all about who has to prepare the form. Doesn't say squat about what the recipient does with it.
May we ask in which foreign county you reside? Maybe one of your compatriots on this forum has the answer for you.
AHA! NotJohn on another thread said,
"It's for people who will be filing form 1040NR in hopes of getting some or all of their withheld money returned. If you are content with your US tax withholdings (because they are zero or not worth the hassle of trying to recover them), you can ignore the form as far as the US is concerned. I believe it will also tell you your earnings in all other countries, and if you are living in the UK for example you might well owe tax on your earnings from the UK store (and who knows? maybe from the whole EU?). I doubt that Amazon shares this information with other-country tax authorities, but again, who knows?"
If the withheld amount is anything substantial, I'd download a 1040NR from the IRS site (it's probably in a fillable pdf format), start filling it out as best you can, and see what you get. Good luck.
Edit: Even if the withheld amount is NOT substantial, you might try going through this exercise in case next year's 1042-S does have a substantial amount on it. Gives you a smoother learning curve between now and then.
Edited by: Joseph M Erhardt on Mar 15, 2016 6:02 AM
At the top of the form it says "Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding" As I have a TIN and no tax is being withheld (I'm in the UK) clearly I'm not attempting to claim any back. Amazon know this but still suggest I download the form......
Just looked at the IRS site and it says:
Who Must File Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding
Every withholding agent must file an information return, Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, to report amounts paid to foreign persons that are described under Amounts Subject to NRA Withholding and Reporting, even if you did not withhold any tax. Refer to Amounts Not Subject to NRA Withholding and Withholding.
Thus it should be Amazon being the withholding agent, not the author, that completes the form.
That's correct: it's Amazon that sends out the informational form. If you don't owe any US taxes (and you probably don't), just save it for your records.
Of course, if Amazon paid you money that may be subject to tax in your home jurisdiction(s), then you really should do the right thing. We don't know that Amazon sends this information to other tax authorities, but it might. For example, if you are British, and you have income from the UK store, it is likely taxable.