I'm in the UK. The last thing you do is contact the US embassy. They don't know what they're talking about. Just call the IRS in the US, tell them you're in the UK and need an EIN. They'll give it over the phone, send it by post to you within a fortnight and you're done. It's simple. The US embassy has had some authors jumping through unnecessary hoops. You don't need a letter at all.
Apple is to blame for being so US-centric. A company with its resources could've easily published a webpage on how non-US residents get an EIN. It chose not to, preferring instead to leave us floundering until we got the information from each other.
Add this to the creation of enabling software (iBooks Author) but the failure to back it up with an effective and communicative infrastructure to deal with authors and publishers, leading to massive delays in getting our products to the iBookstore and few if any responses to emails, you can see how this hardware and software company is now working in an arena it doesn't know how to conduct itself in - namely, publishing.
iBooks Author isn't wonderful or enabling when it creates confusion and anger in content providers, many of us vowing never to experience the nightmare of publishing through Apple ever again. It's sad, regrettable - and Apple could've addressed all this easily but presumably Apple doesn't feel any need to do so.
I am getting more and more confused and I agree Apple have not thought through how the tax and ISBN requirements will work, especially for a non USA resident. However my understanding was that if you are ok with paying tax in the USA there is no problem, but if you want to claim the benefit of the tax treaty with the UK (thereby paying UK tax and not USA tax) you need an ITIN for which you need to complete form W-7 (Google it) and that requires (see the instructions) a letter from whoever to say you have earnings in the USA. BUt the as I say I get more and more confused.
No, that's entirely incorrect. The process as I described is correct and simple and I write from experience as a UK author with an EIN and an iTunes Connect account and a book in the queue.
You cannot even get an iTunes Connect account without the correct tax ID info. I repeat: call the IRS, get an EIN over the phone - but don't apply to Apple immediately, wait a few weeks because your EIN won't be on the IRS systems yet. If you apply with your EIN straightaway, your application will be rejected and you'll need to resubmit. Wait a fortnight and whether the EIN has arrived in the post or not, your application will succeed if you enter the EIN you were given by phone, remembering not to enter the hyphen, just the numbers.
The instructions, if you mean those on the net provided by the IRS, are confusing only because they have to cover all bases. If you are a sole trader in the UK, author or publisher, then if you did pay US tax you would be doing so in error and be liable for UK tax on the full amount including any that was rain by the IRS because it's your responsibility.
There is no simpler or correct approach other than than that I have outlined. Don't forget you'll need to Google the US number to call for non-US enquiries - I'd provide but have forgotten it, unfortunately, as it is only needed once. You don't need the UK treaty number, you tell them you're a UK citizen. They know about the treaty, obviously, plus you're giving them your UK address and phone to send the documentation to. Forget W-7. You're making things complicated for yourself as well as wrong and potentially costly in tax terms.
By the way, the ISBNs are not complicated. You search Google for 'Nielsen UK ISBN registration' and a minimum order is for 10 numbers, just over £100, sent to you by email within 10 days. There is only one legitimate UK source for ISBNs for UK authors and that's Nielsen. No idea why but that's how it is.
Absolutely Spot and simply reeks of the oil and grease used by Steve Jobs on all the locks and chains he created to secure 1000% control of what HE wanted.
OK we are stuck with legal requirements - but what I dont understand from using Zazzle, Cafepress and other online stores as a "supplier" of goods... is WHY when our accounts are country based - I am English in Aussie.. my banks in the UK.. My Apple acount is with the UK store!!
I installed iBooks Author.. its states.. can only be used in UK store.... so it would seem reasonable that I deal with the UK IR - who already have my full working - tax paying history AND my tax codes for levels of earning!
Zazzle have an option on the sign up which required the applicant to state they are non US resident or Citizens working outside USA. Ditto CafePress from my memory!
Now what about ISBN numbers.. cheaper in Aussie than UK... but which can/shoud I use??
I have spent all day trying to wade through this - seeming - minefield of tax and ISBN numbers!
Can I throw this in teh pot for a new debate!!
I am a UK citizen/passport holder, now resident in Australia with a valid visa and another year before allowed to apply for citizenship.
My bank is in the UK still.. I am retired and therefore pay no tax in either country.
My Apple account is automatically diverted to the country of the bank account - UK ( same with eBay and paypal!)
When I installed iBooks Author - a pop up stated can only be used in UK store!
Some countries do not charge for ISBN .. why cannot we all apply to those countries??
Where do I have to buy ISBN numbers.. UK which cost more than Australia!! or Australia because I live here??
There is no link to contact Apple accounts to make any enquires.... and why would the want one.. it would be inundated!
Apple are great at making high tech products ( mostly) - but suck as software engineers who are still on Steve Jobs mantra.. there is My Way.. or No Way
And I agree with a few others in various posts.... Apple must have considered the vast potential in sales income to swamp iBooks with home made eBooks from amateurs - so why not anticipate that individuals would need help - not having a publishing house and paid staff to troubleshoot problems and issues - and create either micro website or a manual with chapters covering the tax and ISBN issues.
Anyone wanting to publish iBooks that's unable to or doesn't want to register for US tax, check out this label.
They publish iBooks Author textbooks on itunes for commission. Like a Lulu or Smashwords for iBooks.
You are 100% correct!
I was in a similar situation (needed an EIN number to sell my music on itunes)... I thought I had to submit a form W-7 and get an ITIN number before I could get an EIN.
I phoned this number (Apply for EIN by phone, international applicants): 1 (267) 941 1099
The 1 is American country code, 267 is the area code.
It literally took only 15 mins on the phone, including hold time, before I got my EIN number! It was very easy!
It will now take up to 2 weeks before it shows up on Apple's system.
I don't know why Apple can't just tell us this information themselves....Instead they have us running around chasing ITIN numbers etc... Complete waste of time.
I hope this helps people!
By the way, I am from Australia.
I tried this number from the Uk and it seems to just hang itself up when you reach the first 6 in the number.
I check their website (IRS) and the number you listed is correct. Cant really understand why it would just be a dead line. Maybe its the time of day? or they have changed the number without updating people.
Anyone else got the number to apply for the EIN for non USA citizens?
You actually don't need any more details! It was as simple as I described... Call the number and tell them you want an EIN number for itunes. Then he/she will ask for your details, like name, address etc and it's done!
But I do understand how frustrating this whole process is and trying to understand what you do or don't require!
I have uploaded a song to itunes now, but I didn't even need my EIN number in the end. I believe if you go through an "aggregator" then you don't need one. BUT THIS MAY BE DIFFERENT IN THE U.S. (I am from Australia).
Here is an email reply I got from an aggregator, CD Baby. I asked them what I needed to do to sell copyright music and whether I needed an EIN or U.S. Tax I.D. or SSN.
CD Baby as my aggregator takes care of all copyright licenes for me in most countries, but I need to pre-pay for licenes if I want to sell in the U.S.
The way that royalties work in the US is much different than in other countries. Here, we have to pay up front for licenses of digital downloads that we *think* we'll sell within a year.
So that's why HFA and Limelight (who I recommend!) help artists buy licenses for their distribution in America.
iTunes and other digital partners who have launched in foreign countries will actually hold onto funds and pay out the publishers of cover songs those royalties on your behalf. So you don't have to go through all of that trouble that you do in the states!
Does this help clarify? If you buy a bundle from Limelight (http://members.cdbaby.com/license-cover-song.aspx) you can cover yourself for the states. Then the rest should take care of itself.
I hope this helps!!!