View Full Version : IRS question

01-15-2013, 05:59 AM
Mods, if I have put this in the wrong place, please move it :)

I have two books out this year with two different publishers who are based in USA. Im in Australia. When I signed with them I had to fill out a w8 BEN form. I am in the process of getting an ITIN from the IRS.
When it comes to tax time in USA, and if I had made any money, do I need to do a tax return with the IRS?

01-15-2013, 06:13 AM
I found this. Maybe it'll help.

ITIN Rules. (http://www.stepbystepselfpublishing.net/how-to-get-an-itin.html)

01-15-2013, 06:13 AM
you will probably need to check with a tax expert. i think you have some tax obligation but as you dont live here that can be a different set of rules. you can always contact the IRS directly and ask them they will not lie. it may not be the best answer but at least you will have one from them.


01-15-2013, 03:18 PM
Is it self pub or through a publisher? If a publisher and you have filed a W8Ben with them with an ITIN on it (and how have you completed this form without an ITIN? This form is the main reason you need one... until the ITIN is added to it this form is worthless) then they will handle all your tax requirements in the US for you which (depending on your country of origin) will mainly be telling the IRS that you are a confirmed foreign national from a country with a valid tax treaty and is therefore exempt from US taxes because you pay tax in your own country.

If the IRS audit your publisher and find that they don't have a W8BEN filed with a valid ITIN in your name then they will claim the back tax owed and fine the publisher for evasion... The stories I have heard suggest that it is a) a very large fine and b) almost impossible to reclaim the tax once it is paid even if you later get a valid ITIN which shows you didn't need to pay it... so it is worth getting this asap.

Not sure what the case is for self publishing but I assume that you will need to put in a tax return as if you were a publisher... though you will likely need to talk to a tax expert to find out if you do in fact need to file in the US at all if you are a company based in another country - you surely pay taxes to that country on all income? This being the main reason why companies base their offices in tax havens...

01-16-2013, 12:46 AM
It's through a publisher. With my first contract, my pub had to write a letter that told the IRS that I was writing for them and earning royalties. I sent the form with that letter to the IRS requesting a ITIN. Both pubs requested I fill out the W8 BEN and send them the ITIN when I get it.

01-16-2013, 01:34 AM
Ok, then you should be ok - they'll handle your US tax things and pay you the royalties. And you only need to get an ITIN once - it is basically your US social security number replacement. Once that is on any tax forms the IRS will know you are a foreign national and treat you accordingly.