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Author Topic: Tax thing for non-US contributors  (Read 3676 times)

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ShadySue

« on: January 07, 2012, 09:34 »
0
I read the some of the thread here (first 3 and last of 16 pages) and there seemed to be a lot of FUD.
I also did a web search, and there's lots of conflicting information (no surprise there).
Is the case that if earning from SS, you either have to pay US tax on your earnings, OR fill in all the paperwork and either have it signed by an appropriate persion (200 and up in my area) or (in my case) trot down to the Embassy in London to get it signed, as the Consulate in Edinburgh doesn't count?

And does this have to be done every year, or once for all time?

(Please, no opinions or surmises. UK submitters to Shutterstock please.)


microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 09:41 »
0
Do you mean going to the Embassy in London to apply for an ITIN?

It's not required (anymore or yet); they first said it was necessary, but then they decided it's enough to fill the W-8BEN form online. The same is valid for most other sites besides Shutterstock.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 09:43 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 09:43 »
0
You only have to fill out a W-8BEN form to make use of the tax treaty between your country and the US. For the W-8BEN you do not need a TIN or a SSN, its a simple, one page document.

Is someone considering to drop her crown? None of my business, I know, just curious  ;)

Microbius

« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2012, 09:44 »
0
I got myself an EIN instead of a personal ITIN number because you can just phone up for that instead of all the hassle of filling out paperwork. I think it was RT that mentioned here you could do that if you are set up as a company/ partnership? not sure if it works for self employed?
I don't know if you need to renew it every year, I haven't renewed since the agencies started asking for it.

« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2012, 09:44 »
0
I read the some of the thread here (first 3 and last of 16 pages) and there seemed to be a lot of FUD.
I also did a web search, and there's lots of conflicting information (no surprise there).
Is the case that if earning from SS, you either have to pay US tax on your earnings, OR fill in all the paperwork and either have it signed by an appropriate persion (200 and up in my area) or (in my case) trot down to the Embassy in London to get it signed, as the Consulate in Edinburgh doesn't count?

And does this have to be done every year, or once for all time?

(Please, no opinions or surmises. UK submitters to Shutterstock please.)

Not a SS submitter, but thought I could help anyway. You are referring to ITIN right? It was a very simple process. I followed Getty's guidelines (I'm sure SS has guidelines/help too) how to fill out the paperwork (W8?), sent off my passport to the US Embassay in Stockholm to get copied and "witnessed". Then the paperwork together with the "witnessed" copy of my passport was sent over to the US Inland Revenue and about 5 weeks later I had the ITIN number in my hand. The only cost except p&p was the fee for having the passport witnessed, which was about SEK400/$50.

« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 09:47 »
0
That's the relevant text taken from their tax center:

--->
"A.   Are you submitting to Shutterstock as an individual? If "yes", then you fall into one of these three groups:

Group A1 -- If you are submitting to Shutterstock as an individual and are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, then no matter where you are worldwide you can submit Form W-9 to us to satisfy your filing requirement. Typically there will be no withholding of taxes on any of your Shutterstock income.

Group A2 -- If you are submitting to Shutterstock as an individual and are a resident of a country that has a tax treaty with the U.S., then please submit Form W-8BEN digitally on Shutterstock's website to benefit from the reduced or zero withholding rate that is specified in your country's tax treaty. Note that a U.S. Tax ID # (TIN) is not required for Group A2.

Group A3 -- If you are submitting to Shutterstock as an individual and are not a resident of a country that has a tax treaty with the U.S., then your U.S. source income from Shutterstock will be subject to 30% withholding tax. Please submit Form W-8BEN to us digitally on our website. Note that a U.S. Tax ID # (TIN) is not required for Group A3."
--->

You, same as myself, should come under group A2, as long as you're not submitting as a LLC, partnership or corporation...

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2012, 09:55 »
0
Is someone considering to drop her crown? None of my business, I know, just curious  ;)

Not in the near future, wouldn't make sense 'for me' 'at the moment'; but surely most people keep their eye out for how things are going.
All the paperwork and hassle people have helpfully outlined here (tx for the quick info, all!) is a major downside for me. Who knows when I might need to know and do this stuff?  >:(
Tx again everyone. Similar question coming up about PayPal ...

« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2012, 10:40 »
0
What paperwork? It's only a small online form that takes 1 minute to finish. Two minutes if you are a slow reader.

Type your name:
List your country:
Individual or company:
Type your adress:
Are you sure you are a legal citizen of your country: yes/no
Type your name once more as a signature.

Done.

« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2012, 11:17 »
0
Hi Sue,
I submit from Ireland. Same goes for UK.

I'm sure Carlsson is well intended and wants to help, but this time he/she is wrong.
You don't touch your passport, you don't send it anyhwere, you don't even need it.

This is what you do:
1. Go to the Tax Center
2. Choose W8 form.
3. They give you a link. Click on it, there is a PDF form.
4. Most of the options are already ticked for you.
5. You only need to tick or select a couple (country, type your name)
6. It takes 2-5 min at max
You're done.
And you only need to do it once. Not every year.

Whenever you're ready to submit (if ever), just remember - it's easy.

Good luck :)

ShadySue

« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2012, 12:57 »
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So you don't need to get anything notarised, send away your passport or go to London?
OK, thanks for the info.

rubyroo

« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2012, 13:01 »
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Nope.  It seems every time a US-based agency realises they need ITINs, they start out thinking that way, and we have a battle to get them to understand that we don't need to do those things.

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 01:54 »
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On a point of question even though I'm in the US. No you don't need to renew an EIN. Once you have it, you are registered.

« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2012, 02:01 »
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Yes, I'm (he) probably wrong in this case. I was talking about my own experience of getting an ITIN number (which you need for Getty), but SS seems to have found a way around that requirement.

« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2012, 04:05 »
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Also you are only taxed on images sold in the US which is a surprisingly small percentage of all sales.

« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2012, 07:23 »
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Also you are only taxed on images sold in the US which is a surprisingly small percentage of all sales.

It is also not in favor with theory that photographers from Europe, especially Eastern "take bread" from American contributors on their terrain...
There was a lot of topics about that "problem" on this forum...

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2012, 23:47 »
0
Also you are only taxed on images sold in the US which is a surprisingly small percentage of all sales.

It is also not in favor with theory that photographers from Europe, especially Eastern "take bread" from American contributors on their terrain...
There was a lot of topics about that "problem" on this forum...

You lost me. We all sell photos and graphics, what difference does it make if I sell a picture from the USA in Australia or if someone from Romania sells a photo in the US. This is a world market.

fotografer:

So you mean all this tax stuff isn't just selling from an agency and having them hold money (which you should get back after filing the proper forms) But also about where the image is sold?

So hypothetical, 80% of the SS sales appear to be coming from out of the US right now. Only 20% of the sales are having a bite taken out of them? Interesting. Never caught thatpart before. I thought it was everything? Of course it's easy not to know, I get a 1099 and file taxes in the US, paying taxes on EVERYTHING no matter where it's sold. ;)

« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2012, 03:41 »
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If you live out of the USA then SS only charge you for sales from customers in the USA.  For me this works out at about 20 - 30% of total sales. On this 20 - 30% we get taxed 5% so for people with a treaty it really isn't enough money to worry about.   Those without a treaty can pay up to 30% so if they are unlucky enough to have a higher % of their sales from the USa it can take a large chunk out of their payments.
The unfair part is that we have to pay tax on this again in our own countries whether it has already been taxed in USA or not. Particularly unfair on the people that don't live in a treaty country.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 03:54 by fotografer »


« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2012, 03:53 »
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double post

ShadySue

« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2012, 06:00 »
0
Also you are only taxed on images sold in the US which is a surprisingly small percentage of all sales.
Interesting, as it's a substantial minority of iStock images which traditionally have been sold in the US, hence all these American-type images.

« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2012, 06:43 »
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The unfair part is that we have to pay tax on this again in our own countries whether it has already been taxed in USA or not. Particularly unfair on the people that don't live in a treaty country.

In some jurisdictions tax already paid will be offset against any further liabilities. So if tax has already been paid then the business will be not always be additionally taxed on that part of the income. Even where no double taxation treaty exists.

But I am surprised that this needs to apply to subscription sales at all - that the royalty is deemed to be a part of the subscription package - ie part of the transaction between the agency and their client. From the photographers' perspectives their client / buyer is surely, effectively, the 'agency'. The 'agency' is surely effectively buying the right to use the picture as part of a subscription which they then sell in the US.

ETA: My point (or question I suppose) being that from an accounting perspective is it clear that selling a subscription amounts to acting as an 'agent' ?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 06:48 by bhr »

RT


« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2012, 11:37 »
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I got myself an EIN instead of a personal ITIN number because you can just phone up for that instead of all the hassle of filling out paperwork. I think it was RT that mentioned here you could do that if you are set up as a company/ partnership? not sure if it works for self employed?
I don't know if you need to renew it every year, I haven't renewed since the agencies started asking for it.

You're right I did, getting the EIN was a simple/painless phonecall to the US, I did have to answer some questions related to my business and employees but that was all, and as far as I'm aware the EIN never needs to be renewed just updated if circumstance change (new address etc)

Slightly OT but on a side note if anybody sells via Agefotostock (saw it being mentioned in another thread) not only do you have to supply an EIN for US related sales but they also require a certificate of self employment from the Inland revenue for any EU sales, otherwise they tax your commission at the Spanish rate. Add to the fact that you have to invoice them and include all the paperwork each time means for me it's too much of a PITA and personally the sales there don't warrant the hassle.

« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2012, 18:25 »
0


You lost me. We all sell photos and graphics, what difference does it make if I sell a picture from the USA in Australia or if someone from Romania sells a photo in the US. This is a world market.

Of course! Same question I was wondering myself...
But unfortunately, there is always someone who would make such theories...
Sorry for off topic!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 18:29 by borg »

« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2013, 16:44 »
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Sorry for bumping an old topic but for non-us residents that do not have tax treaty in place which will be subject to a 30% deduction, is there anyway to claim that back in the resident country?

« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2013, 11:18 »
0
I've read the FAQ on the tax stuff at Dreamstime, and their sample W-8BEN form plus the other FAQ-info made me believe they want that ITIN number. Or is that not the case after all?

It's a bit of a difference between filing in a form online in 5 minutes and doing a grand cross-Europe embassy adventure, and/or snailmailing passports etc with a good 2 months of waiting instead. And particularly so for small contributors.

Microstock InsiderPhotoDune

 

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