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View Full Version : TAX requirements for Non-US self-pubbers using paypal, Amazon, and other third party merchants



Todsplace
06-25-2012, 05:30 PM
Hi AWers!

Are there any things I need to be aware of tax-wise as a non-US person selling ebooks and paperbacks through my website and through other places like Amazon KDP and Amazon's author program thingy? Do I need to get an ITIN? I'm in the proccess of getting one... but I can't put my book on hold for months and months until the ITIN arrives.

Can I start using Paypal and Amazon to accept sales for both paperback and ebook sales? Will they put a freeze on my account at a certain threshold and force me to give them an ITIN--which might not have arrived in time?

Additionally, do the new tax rulings of 1099-K affect my usage of Paypal and Amazon? Like I said, I'm getting an ITIN but it will not be ready for months. But I gather that for foreigners who are non-US situated are exempt from 1099-K... but they have to file a form. I don't know whether Paypal freezes you out after the 200 transaction thing? Or whether they'll just nag you for it?

I'm going to call the IRS next week when I'm on a better phone plan, but right now I'm reading a lot of tax stuff which is going over my head.

Can anyone help? I have no idea what paperwork I might need eventually.

- Tod

EDIT: How do international AWers sell their stuff? Did you guys run into IRS paperwork redtape or did Paypal and Amazon ask you to fulfill any reporting requirements to the IRS?

Terie
06-25-2012, 05:44 PM
This thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202216) should help. (I don't think it discusses the 1099-K part of your question, but it does have some helpful info.)

thothguard51
06-25-2012, 06:23 PM
Always check with a tax specialist...

Todsplace
06-26-2012, 01:40 AM
Thanks for replying :) I've already read that thread though :)

Is anyone on AW a non-US person using Paypal or Amazon? I can't be the only one contemplating selling off my website.

EMaree
01-08-2013, 03:56 PM
This thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202216) should help. (I don't think it discusses the 1099-K part of your question, but it does have some helpful info.)
Thanks for that link, Terie. I remembered that thread and it's excellent advice but I haven't been able to find it for more than a year.

shaldna
01-08-2013, 04:25 PM
Are there any things I need to be aware of tax-wise as a non-US person selling ebooks and paperbacks through my website and through other places like Amazon KDP and Amazon's author program thingy? Do I need to get an ITIN? I'm in the proccess of getting one... but I can't put my book on hold for months and months until the ITIN arrives.

You will need one if you don't want to pay tax in the US. Amazon will withhold 30% (i believe) of your earning as tax. You can claim this back if you have an ITIN and live in a country which has a tax treaty with the US. If you don't have an ITIN then you will not only pay tax in the US, you will also be liable for paying income tax on the remaining amount in your own country.

My ITIN came through pretty quickly. Amazon were able to supply me with the letter - I believe CreateSpace will give you one once your earnings reach a certain amount (I think it's $10 IIRC)


Can I start using Paypal and Amazon to accept sales for both paperback and ebook sales? Will they put a freeze on my account at a certain threshold and force me to give them an ITIN--which might not have arrived in time?

See above. Once you have your ITIN you can claim back the tax deducted up to a certain period - I can't remember how far back, sorry.


Additionally, do the new tax rulings of 1099-K affect my usage of Paypal and Amazon? Like I said, I'm getting an ITIN but it will not be ready for months. But I gather that for foreigners who are non-US situated are exempt from 1099-K... but they have to file a form. I don't know whether Paypal freezes you out after the 200 transaction thing? Or whether they'll just nag you for it?

I'm not sure, sorry.


I'm going to call the IRS next week when I'm on a better phone plan, but right now I'm reading a lot of tax stuff which is going over my head.

The joys of self publishing. :)