Tuesday, 24 July 2012

How to get your ITIN number

Oh my goodness, I finally got my ITIN number and I’m overjoyed! This means that I can now get all the money I make from Smashwords, Amazon, All romance books etc.

I decided to write about something different today. I figured that I’d share this so that it can help more people like me to earn all their money. If you live in the UK like I am, there is a tax treaty that states that you don’t have to pay tax to the US government.

I had asked my royalty payments to be held until I got this sorted out. It’s taken me almost a year but it was worth it! And for those who feel it’s too much trouble, rather go through it and earn the money owed to you than let it go.

This is how I did it.

When my royalties got to $10 on Smashwords I requested a signed letter written on paper. The reason I went with Smashwords is because they are good with this, Amazon on the other hand, not so. So I suggest you request it from Smashwords. You do require this signed letter from the withholding agent (Someone who is paying you).

Once you have the letter you will then need to fill in form W-7 from the IRS website. Again Smashwords have the links to these forms. Just make sure they are updated forms.

You can fill out the forms on computer and then sign it or you can write on the form, which I did. The Reason for submitting the form should be a, and h, and alongside h you should write 'exception 1d royalties'. The treaty article number is 12 (for the UK).

Once you’ve completed your form, you will need a form of identity. For this I used my passport which I think will be the best option. Once you have your letter from Smashwords, filled your W-7 and have your passport you now need to send this on to the IRS.  There are a few ways to do this:

1)     You can get your passport signed by a notary and then send on your letter, certified passport copy and W-7 to the US Embassy. It’s quite expensive to do this and I can’t give you price on that but that’s one option.
2)     You can go to the US Embassy in London and they will check over your form, make sure you’ve filled it in correctly, take a copy of your passport and take the letter and send it on for you to the IRS. I did this; I actually wanted to make sure everything was done properly. I planned it as an outing for my daughter, friend and my friend’s daughter so it worked out well. It also worked out well because the embassy are very strict. Basically you’ll need somewhere to keep your belongings as you will only be allowed in with your passport and forms. A lot of things aren’t allowed in but that’s a story for another time.
3)     You can send your passport, letter and W-7 special delivery to the US embassy in London. They will check your form, letter and take a copy of your passport and certify it and then send it back to you. I can’t advise on this one as I haven’t done it but I’ve heard that it is also a very reliable way of doing this and it’s cheaper.

I was told to give it at least 12 weeks before contacting them. I was lucky that it took 7 weeks.

I’ve now filled in my W-8BEN and will be sending it off to Smashwords, Amazon and All romance Ebooks and a few others I write for. I will update to let you know the outcome.

I’m really excited about this and I hope it helps others to get their full royalties.

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