I recently got a letter from Amazon.com telling me that they are withholding royalties on my e-book sales because I have not got an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or ITIN. If you’re in the same boat as I am, or if you’re selling books on Amazon.com, you will also require an ITIN. Here’s how to go about it (from people who have done it).
- Download the W7 form from the IRS website. Be sure to fill this form in acurately, they are very picky and will reject your form for the smallest error. If you’re in London it’s best to visit the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square and fill out the W7 form with one of the consultants there. That way you avoid any mistakes which might prevent you from getting your ITIN.
- If you’re visiting the Embassy, take your passport with you (they will make a notorised copy) and a letter from your publisher or in the case of Amazon.com the letter/email they sent you telling you they’re witholding payment, or if they haven’t yet, download this letter from their website.
- The Embassy will then send your form and accompanying documents off to the IRS for you.
- Alternatively you can post your W7 form, publisher’s letter, notarised copy of your passport and pastille (if you need one to claim tax back, for example) to the IRS at Internal Revenue Service, Austin Service Center, ITIN Operation, P.O. Box 149342, Austin, TX 78714-9342.
- Yet another option is to make an appointment with a local notary – your local solicitor should be able to recommend someone . The notary will help you fill in your form (or check you have done it correctly) and verify your passport. They can also send the form away for you. In addition they will arrange a pastille if you need one. Notary fees vary, so make sure you check these up front.
- In a couple of months (anything from 3 to 5 months have been reported) the IRS will send you your ITIN in the post.
- While you’re waiting, your publisher can defer any payments to you, meaning they hold onto them until they can legally pay it over.
- Then fill out the W8-BEN form and send it to your publisher.
- IRS Website containing all relevant ITIN information
- Download the W7 Form from the IRS Website
- Download the W8-BEN Form from the IRS Website
- Amazon.com’s Digital Services Letter to submit with your form
- The US Embassy in London
- Kate Johnson’s blog: Adventures in Taxland
- A Quick Guide to the W7 Tax Form by Angela Stone