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Thread: Do I need to fill in W-8BEN?


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Permlink Replies: 7 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jun 20, 2013 9:36 AM Last Post By: Marcela Martine...
Kath

Posts: 56
Registered: 05/01/13
Do I need to fill in W-8BEN?
Posted: Jun 17, 2013 11:43 AM
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I'm based in the UK and the vast majority of my sales are from Amazon.co.uk. I've not been paid any royalties yet as I only published the book in April.

What I'm not sure about is whether I need to fill in a W-8BEN form to avoid paying US taxes? Obviously I need to to avoid taxes on the tiny number of sales I've made on the .com site, but I'm not sure whether US tax would be applied to my UK sales?

I hope not, otherwise I've lost a fair bit of money so far, unless there's some way to claim it back later?

Any help and advice gratefully received.
yoshko

Posts: 140
Registered: 06/15/12
Re: Do I need to fill in W-8BEN?
Posted: Jun 17, 2013 11:48 AM   in response to: Kath in response to: Kath
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Short answer: NO. It doesn't apply to your UK sales.

The 30% tax withholding doesn't apply to uk sales or any EU sales (de, fr, it, es), but it does apply for us, canada and japan sales (it's unclear yet where the sales from indian site fit).
manuscript_app

Posts: 37
Registered: 05/22/12
Re: Do I need to fill in W-8BEN?
Posted: Jun 17, 2013 12:24 PM   in response to: Kath in response to: Kath
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Yes, Kath, you do need to submit a W-8BEN form to exempt you from US tax on your .com sales.
Kath

Posts: 56
Registered: 05/01/13
Re: Do I need to fill in W-8BEN?
Posted: Jun 19, 2013 11:43 AM   in response to: manuscript_app in response to: manuscript_app
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Thanks, both. I'll send one off for the .com sales.
Notjohn

Posts: 5,637
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Do I need to fill in W-8BEN?
Posted: Jun 19, 2013 1:20 PM   in response to: Kath in response to: Kath
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Well, no, you really don't have to. You can simply fill out form 1040-NR in the spring and claim the money back again. The only downside is another USD check to cash.

You won't be taxed unless you are a second Barbara Cartwright. The exemption is $3600 or more.

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing: Ten Steps to Selling Your E-book on Amazon (Or Anywhere Else)

The blog: Notjohn's KDP Guide
Muswell

Posts: 117
Registered: 02/11/13
Re: Do I need to fill in W-8BEN?
Posted: Jun 20, 2013 1:47 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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This page suggests that UK and EU royalties are subject to 30% US withholding tax also, if you are not a US citizen:

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A1VDYJ32T5D3U4

It's no trouble to fill in the W-8BEN, I found. You just call the IRS (US tax authority) and ask for an EIN number, they take some basic details then give you your EIN number, you fill in the form (which you can download from Amazon) and post it to Amazon.

Edited by: Muswell on Jun 20, 2013 1:47 AM
Andrew Brown

Posts: 740
Registered: 05/25/13
Re: Do I need to fill in W-8BEN?
Posted: Jun 20, 2013 2:30 AM   in response to: Kath in response to: Kath
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You only need the W-8BEN form for any sales from the .com side (from what I've read).

You will not be subject to US tax on sales from .co.uk, .de etc

It is an easy process to follow. There is a thread somewhere showing how to do it. The lady I spoke to at the IRS was really nice, but they do spell everything back at you so make sure you have around 30 minutes for the phone call.

Also, remember you are ringing Pennsylvania which is around 5 to 6 hours behind UK time so ring in the afternoon UK time. (Give them a chance to get their first cup of coffee!)

The form itself is easyish to fill in, but if you want any help, give us a shout and I can send you a mock up of mine.

If you are going to publish through smashwords as well, you will need to fill in a seperate form, but you keep the same EIN number.
Marcela Martine...

Posts: 135
Registered: 01/15/13
Re: Do I need to fill in W-8BEN?
Posted: Jun 20, 2013 8:13 AM   in response to: Kath in response to: Kath
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Make your life easy. Get the EIN, fill out the W8-BEN and submit it to Amazon. This will take you one day and you'll be completely done, forever.

If you don't. you will have to do all these:
*file a tax return next year to get the tax back, I am sure you have better use of your money than have it sitting in the IRS reserves.
*apply for and get an ITIN (you do this at the same time of filing) which will take months and carries a high probability of getting rejected (just look at the numerous threads on the subject.
*once you clear all IRS processing, they will send you a check in US dollars which you may have problems cashing.

Just get the EIN before you get your first payment with withholding on it.

Marcela Martinez Millan, PhD, EA
Author of: Beyond Frontiers: A Tax Guide for Non-U.S. Citizens

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