Previous 1 2 3 Next 68 Replies Latest reply: Jul 16, 2014 4:14 PM by Tom Gewecke Branched to a new discussion.
resourcecy Level 1 (0 points)

Hi there


I am a resident from Australia and I have no ties (work or personal) to the USA.


I would like to publish my books on iBooks. But the form requires me to provide a US tax ID. Is this really required? Please advice, thanks!



iBook, Tax, EIN, SSN, ITIN, iBook
  • Angstrol Level 1 (80 points)

    I believe it is required. I'm in the UK and had to do this. You will need the EIN so that you can tell Apple not to withhold taxes for sales in the US so that you can choose to declare your sales revenue in your own country and be taxed at your own local rate.

  • resourcecy Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Angstrol


    Thanks for your reply.


    I spoke to a tax advisor from IRS and he said unless I have a company, I won't need an EIN.


    I have been told to apply for an ITIN as a SSN doesn't apply to me as a non-US person.


    I understand from him that it will take 8-10 weeks to process the ITIN application and can't be done online.


    Thats something I won't do until I confirm I need a US tax ID.


    Could someone from Apple please confirm this????



  • ianfromspring Level 1 (10 points)

    Hi Resourcey,


    Hopefully I can help... I live in the US and am now an American citizen but I was in your position previously.


    Let's start with EIN's and SSN's... they are both forms of a TIN - Taxpayer Identification Number.


    EIN's (Employer Identification Number) are used for companies, Not For Profits etc. - basically, any person or organisation that employs other people.


    SSN is the Social Security Number of an indvidual. If that indivual runs a company that is effectively a sole trader or partnership that doesn't employ anyone in the USA then the SSN can be used to identify that entity too.


    For those not resident in or citizens of the US the TIN is actually an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).  It's often confused with a SSN because it is exactly the same format. But it begins with a '9' and that indicates that the ITIN cannot be used for employment in the USA.


    Does the IRS insist that you have a ITIN? No. But then whoever is paying you the money has to deduct witholding tax from it and account to the IRS for that money. It's a real pain to do this so I can only assume that Apple (quite sensibly IMHO) choose not to by insisting that all submitters do have a TIN.


    You can see how to apply for an ITIN at



    You can find help on applying form outside of the US at




    I hope this helps.... 


    Best wishes.... Ian

  • resourcecy Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Ian


    Thank you so much for your help. I guess I will have to do this since I'll need it for Kindle and CreateSpace also.



  • marco93 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi resourcecy,

    did you finally get the ITIN and your book published on iBookstore? Let me know please, I'm quite involved in the same issue now. Thanks, marco93

  • Ricky Fung Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, I too am for Australia however my situation differs as I will be setting up a limited liability company instead. Do I require an  an equivilent to an ITIN? Or can ITINs be used for both individuals and companies?

  • ianatspring Level 1 (0 points)



    If you form an LLC which you operate as a sole proprieter then the IRS recommend that you use an individual ITIN. If you have employees then you will in any case need to apply for an EIN. Either can be used to satisfy Apple's requirement that you provide a valid US taxpayer identification number. I have a LLC and also both a SSN and an EIN. I happen to use my EIN but I could have used my SSN.


    BTW, this isn't something that Apple dreamed up to annoy the rest of the world. They are simply following the requirements from the IRS which in turn are based upon the tax portions of US code.



    Hope this helps....  Ian

  • Ricky Fung Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Ian sorry I think I'm a bit confused with your explanation. If I'm operating an LLC, isnt that completely different to a sole proprieter? ie. Sole Proprieter assumes individual legal liability?


    If I was applying as a sole proprieter ie. as an individual, I need to apply for an ITIN in order to completethe application for an EIN.


    However when applying as a company, I'm not sure what the prereqs are as international businesses cannot use the online application. I was really just looking for any prereqs for an LLC EIN application.


    Definitely understand it needs to be done, just wish all the form filling wasn't so confusing, its doing my head in! lol


    Edit: I just took annother look at the application, I think I get what you were saying now Ian. Even though you're an LLC, the IRS for tax purposes, treats you as an sole proprieter! In which case I would still need an ITIN.


    Message was edited by: Ricky Fung

  • ianatspring Level 1 (0 points)



    It is a bit confusing but better to think of two different aspects of your company.


    LLC means that you are afford some protection against your assets if you are sued - hence the " limited" liability. But this doesn;t determine how you are treated for income tax purposes for a LLC. For IRS purposes you can choose to be treated as an individual sole proprieter, a LLC or even a 'S' Corporation.


    But if you are the only employee (i.e. sole proprieter) then the IRS recommend that you use your own taxpayer identifier, and in your case, because you don't reside in the US, it would be the ITIN issued to you.


    I should have pointed out that to get an EIN you do need to provide a SSN for one of the company officials.


    Cheers Ian

  • Ricky Fung Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Ian! That makes much more sense now!


    For other peoples reference who need an ITIN from abaord: The form can be found here:,,id=96690,00.html


    Ian, I'm just looking at the form at the moment and for the first question theres a few check boxes for reasons for submitting the form. It doesnt look like the reasons fit any of the purposes I am looking for especially since I'm not filing a tax return. But if I select Other, I will need supporting documents which wouldnt exist.

  • Daniel Herkenhoff Level 1 (20 points)

    Hi Guys!


    Those of you who have already filed for a EIN for a foreign company can help me?


    My doubt is: once my company receives its EIN will it be obligated by any means to file forms or any kind of beaurocracy every month or quarter, or year to the IRS?


    I mean, will my company need to inform the iRS about the transactions occurred in iBooks Store under our name? Or, is it just something Apple needs to inform, not us?



  • ianatspring Level 1 (0 points)



    Even though you don't reside in the USA, any earnings that originate here are subject to US taxes. This is the case in many other countries such as the UK.


    At the end of each calendar year (that's the normal tax year in the US) Apple will need to notify the IRS of any monies that they have paid to you (I think using form 1099-MISC).


    If you do NOT fulfil any of the following conditions:


    > You are not a US citizen

    > You are not a Resident Alien (i.e. Green Card holder)

    > You have not spent more than 180 days in the US in the year


    then you are subject to US tax only on your earnings here.


    If your earnings are below the standard allowances for a non resident alien (I am not up to date on what these are) then there is no need to file.


    If you do have to file it is almost certain that you can use a very simplified form called a 1040-EZ. The 1040 is the standard tax return that people like me file and this version is "EZ" because it's "easy" to complete. It really is easy and quick to do (I used to complete it years ago when I had a business in the US but lived in Europe).


    Hope this helps....  Ian

  • Daniel Herkenhoff Level 1 (20 points)

    Thanks Ian!


    I am an American Citizen, but I don't live in the US since I was a little kid, so I never had any relation with the IRS.


    As I understand it, since all earnings from books selling will be send to my company, in Brazil, from Apple, I don't know if any taxes need to be payed in the US.


    If the only thing my company will need to do is to file a simple and easy form, than you've helped me a lot!


    Thanks again!


  • zhannafromht Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Angstrol,


    I checked with US embassy in the UK and they said to me that in order to accept an applicatoin for ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) I need to provide them with the letter from my publisher confirming that some income is expected in the current fiscal year.


    Obviously I cannot get this letter from iBooks before they can start selling my works.


    Do you know how to resolve this visious circle?


    Thank you.





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