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Author Topic: IRS Withholding Taxes for non U.S. Submitters  (Read 52022 times)

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« Reply #100 on: May 28, 2009, 08:51 »
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Very rude.

Quite rude indeed. It's funny though... the Title say Calm down and he doesn't sound like a calm guy at all while writing this PoS post. I can't believe a chairman of a big company like SS gives an obnoxiously rude answer like that to the very people who allows him to make money and tun his business. He needs a serious kick in the butt or  a good slap on the face IMO. That's what my mom would have given me if I had answer someone like this.


« Reply #101 on: May 28, 2009, 08:54 »
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It has everything with the new administration enforcement of current IRS regulation. SS is large profit corporation that must comply with the law. It is liable for taxes with penalty and including any fines. SS is the pocket with the large tax liability and there will be others. It happen everytime a new sheriff ride into town. O'Banana is the New Sheriff in town.

« Reply #102 on: May 28, 2009, 09:06 »
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Hmm... there is some inconsistencies regarding the interpretations of these US tax laws (citizens/residents or not, treaty countries or not, legal proof feedback of IRS taxes in the future (to get refunds in country of origin), the difference between ITIN forms for companies and individuals (as of now the mass is focused on the later with no word on the course to take if a submitter is legally a or working via a business entity) and lots of smaller details that will surely be cleared out in due time.

I can to some extent understand SS's concerns that the IRS might in the future take legal action against them for conducting illegal tax activities (open to debate, of course), but I've not read one single time about any concerns regarding retroactive taxation in this particular case. Why now if the law hasn't changed? Bear in mind, because from a legal perspective it's blattantly clear, that if the IRS decides to scrutinize Shutterstock's activities from a tax evasion perspective, the end is already at their doorsteps. If you're a company following a certain tax jurisdiction, you can't just start paying a particular tax in the middle of nowhere. The IRS will check past tax payment flows and I'm quite sure this means paying 30% of foreign submitters income (if their interpretation of such laws is correct) for ALL THE PAST YEARS since the specific law is in effect (it is not a new law, keep that in mind). Can you imagine the consequences of such a debt?

That's what most scares me, not the ITIN/W8 bureocraticism.

I still hope for the best both for SS and all of us depending on their business.

alias

« Reply #103 on: May 28, 2009, 09:17 »
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@ pt1:

There is an important technical and legal difference between "tax evasion" and "tax avoidance".

Tax avoidance is the perfectly sensible and legal business of operating a business from within the most efficient competitive tax structure.

Moving a business to a less bureaucratic competitive jurisdiction would not be an example of "tax evasion" and it would be incorrect to describe it so.

grp_photo

« Reply #104 on: May 28, 2009, 09:23 »
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SS says:
"6) If you think other microstock companies are except from paying tax, think again. It's a matter of time before they start following the law also."

that about DT or fotolia?  ???
No Fotolia and DT are not US-Companies and not based in US they now have also US Offices thats all. The only agencies i see for this kind of action are Bigstock and 123RF maybe VMP too.
I think Jon Oringer underestimate the effect of this, SS will loose contributors AND buyers in the long term because of this.

alias

« Reply #105 on: May 28, 2009, 09:29 »
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O'Banana is the New Sheriff in town.

I don't like the way the US does this, and I don't think that it is good for the US long term but it way pre dates the new administration.

But far more importantly than any tax issue: there is something deeply offensive and unpleasant about you calling him "Banana".

« Reply #106 on: May 28, 2009, 09:35 »
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I'm not really understanding the backlash against SS. This is a US regulation, and SS in no way benefits from this. This is not putting more money in their pockets, and I'm sure it's a pain in the ass for them too!

They just got the short end of the stick here. The other major micro's (DT, IS, FT, etc) have the advantage of being headquartered outside of the US.

Yeah, it sucks for non-US contributors, but...it's the cost of doing business.

alias

« Reply #107 on: May 28, 2009, 09:40 »
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Yeah, it sucks for non-US contributors, but...it's the cost of doing business.

... the cost of doing business with US based companies. This offers a competitive advantage to non US companies operating in countries which have more sensibly structured tax infrastructure.

It is surprising that in a time of economic difficulties the US would not want to look again at this since it is basically a disincentive for people to operate out of the US. = less jobs ultimately.

« Reply #108 on: May 28, 2009, 09:46 »
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Yeah, it sucks for non-US contributors, but...it's the cost of doing business.

... the cost of doing business with US based companies. This offers a competitive advantage to non US companies operating in countries which have more sensibly structured tax infrastructure.

It is surprising that in a time of economic difficulties the US would not want to look again at this since it is basically a disincentive for people to operate out of the US. = less jobs ultimately.

Ultimately this could probably lead to some ss employees being fired as there will be a lot less images, accounts and customers to look after. This would be negative for USA gov in the end. If all american companies need to go through this, no selfemployed smalltime artists or businessmen will ever want to do business with american companies.

« Reply #109 on: May 28, 2009, 09:50 »
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Very rude.

Quite rude indeed. It's funny though... the Title say Calm down and he doesn't sound like a calm guy at all while writing this PoS post. I can't believe a chairman of a big company like SS gives an obnoxiously rude answer like that to the very people who allows him to make money and tun his business. He needs a serious kick in the butt or  a good slap on the face IMO. That's what my mom would have given me if I had answer someone like this.

I'm not a big fan of IS, but I can't quite imagine IS top management shouting down to contributors like that.
Is he trying to intimidate people into keeping quiet?

« Reply #110 on: May 28, 2009, 09:55 »
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perhaps he got rude out of despair. It would appear he does not see any other choice and now watches how the contributors threaten to leave or leave already. This would ruin Shutterstock and he is well aware of that.

« Reply #111 on: May 28, 2009, 09:58 »
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He has options.
The question is whether he wants to take the effort to implement them (i'm not saying they're easy options) or just ram everything down contributors throats and hope they don't choke too much.

« Reply #112 on: May 28, 2009, 10:02 »
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perhaps he got rude out of despair. It would appear he does not see any other choice and now watches how the contributors threaten to leave or leave already. This would ruin Shutterstock and he is well aware of that.

Yes, to me it seems he has already expected and accepted this. Else I cannot understand why he would speak to people that bring money to his table in this manner.

« Reply #113 on: May 28, 2009, 10:15 »
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He has options.

Like what? Moving the company to Canada? That would be unbelievably difficult and expensive.

They have no choice in the matter - this is something they (and other US microstock houses) have to do. I think I'd be pissed if I were Jon too. I'd be pissed at the government, as well as the contributors trying to start petitions  ::) to get this overturned.

« Reply #114 on: May 28, 2009, 10:16 »
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If SS think that I'm going to spend any money whatsoever getting passports ID etc notorised or rubber stamped they have another thing coming. The simple fact for SS is that June 1st will see vast swathes of thier libray removed (including mine) and thier finances reduced accordingly. Call it what you want but it's all down to US protectionism for thier contributors and the big finger to any foreigners. After all 25c is an insult really - i only uploaded here whilst i was uploading to the others!!

« Reply #115 on: May 28, 2009, 10:20 »
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I am a UK citizen living in Singapore. There is no tax treaty between Singapore and US so am I right in thinking that I apply for this from my UK address and using UK passport?

« Reply #116 on: May 28, 2009, 10:23 »
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I am a UK citizen living in Singapore. There is no tax treaty between Singapore and US so am I right in thinking that I apply for this from my UK address and using UK passport?

I think it depends on which government you currently pay your taxes to. Paul Cowen posted something similar on the SS forum debate regarding this matter.


« Reply #117 on: May 28, 2009, 10:23 »
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Like what? Moving the company to Canada? That would be unbelievably difficult and expensive.

He doesn't have to move his operations in entirety.
The company I work for maintains offices in multiple countries, including one in Dubai, specifically for tax reasons.
It takes a bit of effort, and he needs to hire to appropriate experts, but it can be done, and might be the best longterm option.

« Reply #118 on: May 28, 2009, 10:29 »
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This thing doesn't affect me, but I was stunned by the rude and obnoxious rant posted by SS's CEO.  It really took my image of Shutterstock down to the floor.

It reminded me that there is no commitment by these companies whatsover.  You might invest a lot of time over a period of months or years in uploading, keywording and categorizing images on a microstock - then one day a guy decides he doesn't like your forum avatar and deletes your entire account.  

Holy cr@p.

There has to be a better way to sell stock photos than through web sites run by bad-tempered kids.  

« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 10:32 by stockastic »

« Reply #119 on: May 28, 2009, 10:36 »
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Calm down + text after???

Very unprofessional, raw, filthy, offensive behavior!!!

This is advantage for other agencies with respect for foreign contributors...
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 10:39 by borg »

« Reply #120 on: May 28, 2009, 10:46 »
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He has options.

Like what? Moving the company to Canada? That would be unbelievably difficult and expensive.

As a Canadian it's actually more difficult dealing with iS than US based companies. Book keeping wise that is.

« Reply #121 on: May 28, 2009, 10:55 »
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If they are withholding taxes SS will then have to send us an official annual statement of earnings won't they?  Up here in Canada it is a Federal document called a T-4 which has earnings, payroll taxes, etc.  Doesn't that kind of make us employees instead of independent contractors?

« Reply #122 on: May 28, 2009, 10:56 »
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It would seam someone is banned from the SS forums already.... I really don't like how they handle this!

« Reply #123 on: May 28, 2009, 11:01 »
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Quote from Leaf:

If you qualify for an EIN you can get it over the phone (and the official papers will be sent in the mail) speading things up a bit.  IRS number +1-215-516-6999 That is how I got my number a while back when another site needed it.



Can u explain this. It seems too easy. To get ITIN u need to do a W7 and send in together with Notarized Id. Is this something else?

« Reply #124 on: May 28, 2009, 11:08 »
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Can u explain this. It seems too easy. To get ITIN u need to do a W7 and send in together with Notarized Id. Is this something else?

I'm not Leaf, but as far as I understand it, you are eligible for an EIN - as opposed to an ITIN - if you sell your photos as a registered business, even if it's a one man company. If you sell them as a private person you need an ITIN - at least that is my understanding...

PhotoDuneMicrostock Insider

 

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