Friday, May 31, 2013

Red Tape

I've been tangled up in red tape recently.

You see... non-US citizens need tax identity numbers too. But just reading the application form instructions has my fingers tangled in my hair.

And then, there's a fact that certifying copies of my documents isn't technically as possible as you'd think. And there's NO WAY I'm sending my passport to the IRS. Not because I don't trust them, but that I don't trust my country's postage system.

So yeah... I'm paying a substantial amount of money (more or less a month's salary for me) to have a "Certified Acceptance Agent" do this for me.

Looking at those forms again, I'm thinking it's worth every cent. Worst is that once I have my TIN, I'll only be using it to get exempted from US Tax. So.... All this effort just so that I don't pay tax in the US. As supposed to 25% in South Africa. Sigh.

Anyone else have issues with sorting out taxes on your royalties?

33 comments:

  1. Fortunately no. That sounds like a big headache.

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    1. It is a pretty big one. Hopefully I can get my chosen accounting firm to get hopping on it.

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  2. I haven't actually gone through that process. I know I probably should - you know, so I don't have to pay tax twice! I hope it goes smoothly for you.

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    1. Thanks. Given that a quarter of my writing income will be taxed in SA, I'm DEFINITELY not going to give a cent more than I need to. ;-)

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  3. How did I miss the announcement that your book had been sold? Congratulations.

    Can't the US Embassy certify a copy of your passport?

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    1. Thanks!

      The embassy is on the other side of the country from me, and the consulate doesn't seem to certify docs. :-/

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  4. I did actually have to get an ITIN number, I live in London but published a short with a US company. I chose to send my passport in to the US embassy here in the US - the forms were kind of scary in that I didn't understand most of it but in the end, they didn't make a fuss and I got my ITIN right away to my relief.

    You could also always go to the US embassy and have them see your passport there? I think that was an option for me here, but not sure about elsewhere.

    Good luck <3 these things can be stressful so I hope it works out well :)

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    1. When I called the consulate, they most kindly referred me to the IRS website and hung up.

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  5. I didn't realize non-citizens of the country you're published in has to go through all of that. I wonder how different the process is in other countries? Good luck, Misha! I hope everything goes through smoothly!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Yep it's almost annoying. Worst of all, I'll have to apply again in 5 years. >_<

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  6. Nope, I have not had to do any of that. It does sound stressful though. I wish you luck with it.

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  7. Sorry about all that work. Makes me fear my turn. But I'm self-publishing for now so...

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    1. I'm hoping it'll go faster now that I have experienced people working on it. :-)

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  8. I'm not surprised. Filing our tax forms requires hiring people. Sorry about all the hassles.

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  9. I don't have enough royalties yet for it to be an issue.

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    1. I don't even have any royalties yet. >_<

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  10. Royalties? Hmm, doubt I'll ever have to worry about that inside or outside the states.

    ......dhole

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  11. Yikes! That sounds like a nightmare. So thankful for people who know how to figure that stuff out! And congrats on selling your book, that is awesome!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah I'm really excited to get going with this so that I have a bit more flexibility with when I publish. If I don't, I'll be stuck having to wait for the US government before I can publish.

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  12. I'm looking into all that at the moment. Have you considered setting up your own business so you can apply for an EIN instead? Yes, there's the hassle of setting up a business (if you haven't already done so), but there's likely other advantages too, and getting an EIN is supposed to be a very easy process in comparison to an ITIN.

    See here for more details.

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    1. The big thing for me is that I think the treaty doesn't extend to companies in my country. I don't want to do something that's easy in the short term, but is to my disadvantage later. :-/

      I'll look into it, though. Thanks for the heads-up.

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  13. I hope things go smoothly for you. Paper work can sometimes be such a pain.

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  14. I hate red tape, but it's better than no tape from no publishing.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  15. Sounds like a big headache. Best wishes in getting everything straightened out.

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  16. Eek! I didn't know about the passport part. I have to renew mine!!!!

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  17. A couple of my writers group members have had the same problems, although we are close enough to the U.S. border to nip across and visit the government offices where they could submit their paperwork. I can sympathize with anyone living across the ocean who have to deal with overseas postal issues. Red tape can be pretty sticky!

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