Again - get some competent tax advice. The IRS may decide you earned that income in the US and thus is subject to US taxation; so it is important to make sure you do everything right. The last thing you want is the IRS after you for a few dollars in sales. Unfortunately, tax law can be complex and the hassle of fixing a problem makes doing some real upfront work important.
I would regard the IRS office in the US Embassy in London a dispenser of competent tax advice.
I'm not trying to be argumentative, but in general anything the IRS tells you is their best guess and not binding on them - the law is. They don't know the details of your situation and will give you their best guess as to what to do. If they tell you something that is wrong you are still on the hook.
My experience is that a tax advisor, familar with your circumstances, is best equipped to ensure you do thiings right; especially when you may be establishing a US presence for tax law purposes.
I’m a self publishing author from Austria and my company name under which I pay taxes is the German equivalent to “First Name Last Name Publishing”.
I have no SSN or ITIN or anything like that.
I faxed the SS-4 form a week ago but I think I must have filled it incorrectly because I never received the promised reply after 4 business days.
So I called the number 001 267 941 1099 yesterday at about 23:00 and was put on hold.
No need to press any phone key just wait and listen to the nice music.
After about 30 minutes a man answered, told me his name and his IRS number and asked what he can do for me.
I said my name is …, I’m calling from Austria and I would need an EIN number.
The first question was about my role in my company: Sole Proprietor
Do you have a Social Security Number (SSN): No.
Month of Business start: January
Reason for applying: I said that I think the correct answer is “Compliance with IRS withholding regulation”
This took about 10 minutes because I slowly spelled every letter to him and he confirmed the letters and numbers by repeating them.
(It would have been faster and more fool proof if I had spelled like this “A like Apple”, “C like Charlie”.)
After this the man told me that he had activated my EIN and that I would receive a letter with my EIN in about 4 weeks.
And then … he gave me my EIN number over the phone.
It is formated like this: 9x-xxxxxxx (Enter it without the dash in Apples online form)
My costs so far are a 40 minutes long distance call to the USA.
If you can spell the English alphabet you can do it.
Also look up the correct phone code for calling you from within the USA.
I hope this encourages others from outside the USA in a similar situation to call the IRS under the above number.
I was signing up as a sole proprietor:
"Sole proprietors (self-employed individuals) report all business income and expenses on their individual tax returns (Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Schedule C, E, or F)"
I am from Germany and thank you for your helpful answer.
Do you have a company, or was the company name you answered an ispired answer?
I am a teacher in Munich and had some books, that I want to transfer into iBooks, but I have no company on my own. Do you think that this is necessary?
Thank you for your answer.
I don't know if you can get away with just your name. Maybe yes. In my case I have this business name, I didn't make it up. As a self publisher you are allowed to name your publishing business "Verlag Kathrin Schmidt" or "Kathrin Schmidt Verlag". Other names would not be free and would require a registration in Austria or Germany.
If you already publish books you have a (self) publishing company besides your daytime job as a teacher. I see nothing wrong with it.
Message was edited by: buildyo23