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US TAX ID - The Big Dilemma

42528 Views 169 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2014 11:59 PM by vinnyvg RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • john buck1 Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2012 9:34 PM (in response to jamy.s)

    I am hesitant to say Jamy that selling iBooks without an EIN isn't possible at all....but let's just say you must be the only Australian taxpayer in the world who is :-)

     

    For any Australian (and I suspect any non-US residents) authors this is the reply I received from Apple directly.

     

    "There is a requirement to obtain a US Tax ID if you wish to make your books available in the US market. This is no different for Australian authors than authors from anywhere else in the world hence no local FAQ. In my experience I have found that calling the IRS is the most effective way of obtaining an ID:  Apply By EIN Toll-Free Telephone Service Taxpayers can obtain an EIN immediately by calling the Business & Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933. The hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. An assistor takes the information, assigns the EIN, and provides the number to an authorized individual over the telephone. Note: International applicants must call (267) 941-1099 (Not a toll-free number).

    "

     

    jamy.s wrote:

     

    I am in Australia and I got hold of the Australian iBookstore representative.

    I have opened a bookstore for my organisation without an EIN, ITIN or any other IRS accronym.

    You should have a local rep in the UK that should be able to help you with this.

     

    I think, from my vague memory, that i just emailed iBookstore support and it was smooth sailing from there. Before that, I made numerous phone calls and wasted a lot of time.

  • jamy.s Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 1:46 AM (in response to john buck1)

    I can only speak from my own experience. I am currently the administrator of an iBookstore for a large organisation that provides educational material. I established the bookstore with the direct assistance of Apple, we have also sold and received payment for our publications.

     

    We have a current iBookstore contractual agreement. We do not have an EIN.

     

    Perhaps things were different because of the nature of our business or publications I don't know.

     

    So, I can tell you that it is possible for us, I'm not in a position to comment on other arrangements.

  • Eolono Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 3:06 PM (in response to Radoslav)

    Hello all,

     

    You can check your EIN status on this website:

     

    http://www3.knightfoundation.org/apply/letter/ein_lookup.aspx

     

     

    If it's not in the database you have some waiting to do.

     

    Cheers

  • jaxswim Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 1:12 PM (in response to pyramid-ant)

    I now have my EIN number and beginning to regret it.   I am a UK resident and pay UK taxes.  It seems that once you are on the IRS system you have to comply with American IRS and fill out US tax returns, for income earned in US.   For the small amount of money gained from ibook revenue - is it worth all the trouble?   Its is not clear if a tax return is sent to you or if you have to apply online to complete a US tax return, even if your income is Nil.   

     

    Going to cancel EIN and wait until Apple makes it easier for non US residents to publish books.  

  • tndom Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 1:34 PM (in response to jaxswim)

    jaxswim - Are you sure? Have the IRS contacted you?

  • jlc1978 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 4:18 PM (in response to tndom)

    If you have an EIN, the IRS is going to want quarterly tax payments and a tax return. They don't send you a return, and Apple should send you a 1099 or equivalent to show payments from Apple to you and the amount they reported to the  IRS. You well then need to get the right forms and fill out a US tax return.

     

    In general, the IRS considers income earned in the US as taxable no matter where you are; which is why getting competent tax advice from someone taht nows US and you rtax laws is important. Don't rely on what I, or others, have said as that is not tax advice.

  • MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 8:44 PM (in response to jlc1978)

    Many countries have a reciprocal tax agreement with the US, so you don't pay tax twice. If you, say, pay $10 in tax to the IRS, and you would have had to pay $12 for the same earnings in your own country, if such an agreement exists, you only pay the difference, that is, $2.

     

    Check whether such an agreement exists between your country and the US, so you know about the tax implications beforehand.

     

    Cheers,

     

    Michi.

  • john buck1 Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 8:55 PM (in response to MichiHenning)

    I wholeheartedly concur with JLC1978

    US tax laws are far from simple and not to be taken lightly. In certain cases it means you are a taxpayer for life.

     

    To me it is lax of Apple to create this software and then let users battle with the actual nuts and bolts.

     

    I have used bookbaby previously to publish epub formatted books but they havent signed or arent allowed to distribute iBA books. Until they, or their competitors do this, I am staying well away from the IRS.

  • clasqm Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 9:52 PM (in response to jaxswim)

    "Going to cancel EIN and wait until Apple makes it easier for non US residents to publish books."

     

    Yes, they really could do more. I'm considering just creating a free account and using ibooks only to promote other income streams.

  • virtualgs Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 9:57 PM (in response to jaxswim)

    I think this is the right choice. iBookstore is simply too much trouble - publishing a book takes forever to get approved - and it is simply not worth the effort.

     

    We went through all the trouble to get into the store, we are thinking of getting out now.

  • MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2012 10:44 PM (in response to virtualgs)

    Apple have made it actually quite easy to get into the store. For a free book, you don't even need an ISBN. For paid books, you need an ISBN and an EIN, both of which you can get with about 15 minutes of work.

     

    But the under-resourced review process is truly ridiculous. If Apple want to insist on a high level of quality control, that's fine and the company's prerogative. But delaying publication for most books by more than a month by most accounts is simply unforgivable.

     

    Michi.

  • JoeScrivens Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 3:27 AM (in response to Eolono)

    Actually that site doesn't work. I have EIN that has been accepted, yet when I put it in that database it doesn't recognize it at all.

  • jaxswim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 12:22 PM (in response to tndom)

    tndom..........yes, after spending about half an hour waiting for a reply, I spoke to someone who gave me my EIN number.   About three weeks later a letter arrived confirming.

  • jaxswim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 12:23 PM (in response to jlc1978)

    I agree.........you need to know what you are doing.  Its a minefield out there.

  • jaxswim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 12:31 PM (in response to jlc1978)

    Yesterday I phoned IRS and after some time waiting spoke to a very helpful gent.  He said it was standard procedure to cancel EIN by writing to IRS.   Have done that today.   Cost me £6.10 to send letter signed for delivery.

     

    Really wish I had not started this in the first place.

     

    Thanks for all the above comments - its a learning curve!!

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