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Author Topic: Fotolia and Witholding Taxes!  (Read 48722 times)

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« Reply #100 on: December 21, 2009, 15:41 »
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Princess

Yeah it is Denis,

Havent had time to read the above properly yet but one worrying thing is another thread on the Fotolia forum (think its in the Cafe) about requesting payment and those payments not forthcoming some date back to Dec 1st !!
If Fotolia carry on with this insistance that we need this ITIN number a number of points need to be known
1 How much tax will we pay 30% ?
2 Will this be only taken from US Sales ?
3 How will we know that it will only be taken from US sales ?
4 If payment requests as above are not made till after Jan 1st 2010 will tax be taken from sales before Jan 2010 ?
in fact I can think of many more questions that need answering but will we get those answers ?

Warren


« Reply #101 on: December 21, 2009, 16:29 »
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Just sent this to support lets see what we get back !!


Hiya,
You are probably aware of the distress this is causing a lot of people here can you PLEASE Clear up the following point and if you cant can you find somone who can.
1 Do we need an ITIN number ?
2 If we dont get an ITIN number will tax be deducted from US sales at 30% and will it be only US sales ?
3 If 30% will be deducted how will we know its from US sales ?
4 Why is Fotolia insisting on an ITIN number when other agencies are not ?

Could this be delt with as a matter of urgancy people are genuinly upset and annoyed by the lack of information we have had from Fotolia regarding this and it needs to be sorted soonest.

People are going to great expence and trouble to get ITIN numbers which other sites say they dont need I've seen papers that say we dont need them and papers that say we do ! (more that say we dont !)
Its putting people off uploading to Fotolia and this is not good for anyone.

Thanks

Warren



Wait and see ehhh !!

« Reply #102 on: December 21, 2009, 21:27 »
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Oh Cybernesco!

I've just realised you must be Denis from the Legal Forum who's been doing all their homework and come up with some good ammo!!

Have you heard back from Fotolia after you more than likely blasted them?!

(if you are not the same Denis, then oops!)

No I don't have anything positive so far.

This was my last post to them:

"Inevitably Fotolia has only two choices:

Either send us the required W7 letter so that we can get the TIN or find a way to do it without TIN like the other sites. So far, after three weeks none of those two options have been realised.  So what is going on?  Denis

« Reply #103 on: December 22, 2009, 00:43 »
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Finally!  Managed to get onto the site and signed in successfully!  Thanks Tyler!

« Reply #104 on: December 22, 2009, 06:20 »
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Finally!  Managed to get onto the site and signed in successfully!  Thanks Tyler!

I spotted your name as soon as I logged in. Welcome aboard Linn!!   ;D

At least we can talk freely here  ;)


« Reply #105 on: December 22, 2009, 07:06 »
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Yeah welcome Linn nice to see you here  ;D

Warren

« Reply #106 on: December 22, 2009, 07:48 »
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Thanks guys.  I am positive that I will be banned from the Fotolia forum soon!  At least here I feel that I can speak my mind.
Linn

« Reply #107 on: December 22, 2009, 11:32 »
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I just want to add that I am happy with Fotolia on the whole. I've 'met' a lot of nice people through the forum there. They were the first agency I joined and for that I will always be loyal. It's such a shame that this whole tax thingy got confusing in the first place. I sincerely hope this all gets sorted out soon.  :)

« Reply #108 on: December 22, 2009, 11:35 »
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Right, Linn, Denis, Princess and everyone else

I have had a reply to my questions to fotolia heres what I asked :-

Hiya,
You are probably aware of the distress this is causing a lot of people here can you PLEASE Clear up the following point and if you cant can you find somone who can.
1 Do we need an ITIN number ?
2 If we dont get an ITIN number will tax be deducted from US sales at 30% and will it be only US sales ?
3 If 30% will be deducted how will we know its from US sales ?
4 Why is Fotolia insisting on an ITIN number when other agencies are not ?

Could this be delt with as a matter of urgancy people are genuinly upset and annoyed by the lack of information we have had from Fotolia regarding this and it needs to be sorted soonest.

People are going to great expence and trouble to get ITIN numbers which other sites say they dont need I've seen papers that say we dont need them and papers that say we do ! (more that say we dont !)
Its putting people off uploading to Fotolia and this is not good for anyone.


Heres the reply :-

Hello Warren,

1) Yes, to enjoy treaty benefits an ITIN is required with form submission.

2) Without ITIN with form submission there will be 30% W/H on US sales.

3) You will be provided the information to determine the US sales.

4) Fotolia must comply with IRS tax regulations relating to this matter.

Please contact your tax advisor or the IRS for additional guidance.

Kind regards,

Fotolia Team U.K.
0208 816 72 84

Thanks


And heres my reply to that :-


Thank you for your reply to my questions re the tax issue you have clearly stated that to recive these tax treaty benefits we need a ITIN number you also state in the last part of your reply Fotolia must comply with IRS tax regulations in this matter.

With this in mind could you please send me by post NOT EMAIL a ORIGINAL LETTER ON FOTIOLIA'S LETTERHEAD, ADDRESSED TO ME AND STATING MY ACCOUNT NUMBER WITH FOTOLIO

As you well know I MUST COMPLY WITH THE IRS TAX REGULATIONS IN THIS MATTER.

Thank you for your help

Warren




It might be a good idea for everyone who wants this ITIN number to ask the same using the "I MUST COMPLY WITH IRS REGS.........."

then lets see what happens

Have a great Christmas all  ;D

Warren

« Reply #109 on: December 23, 2009, 14:08 »
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The following was posted at Fotolia without the links:


After the holidays, I will definitely contact the IRS and get more details about the ITIN issue. So far I have found the following strong evidences that an ITIN is not required.  The following is a small part of a published letter for which the link will be posted at MG. This letter is from a US organisation called the Chair of SIFMAs Committee on Tax Compliance and Administration and requested by an IRS officer to make recommendations and comments about drafting a new updated version of Form W-8BEN instructions. Only the most important lines were kept:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Glenn Kirkland, IRS Reports Clearance Officer
Internal Revenue Service, Room 6512
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224
Re: Request for Comments on Draft Form W-8BEN and
Instructions for Form W-8BEN

Dear Mr. Kirkland:

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)
appreciates the opportunity to comment on recently released drafts of
Form W-8BEN and Instructions for Form W-8BEN. We respectfully request IRS
consideration of the following suggested changes to the form and instructions.

Line 6
o The instructions for this section begin by saying that an individual is
generally required to enter his/her social security number (SSN) on
Line 6 of Form W-8BEN. To the contrary, most non-resident aliens
do not have an SSN and are not required to provide any type of
U.S. taxpayer identification number (TIN) on a Form W-8BEN.
The instructions should instead start with the general rule that a TIN
is not required to obtain a reduced rate or exemption from US
withholding. Then the instructions should explain when a TIN is
required and how to obtain one. Otherwise, foreign investors would
likely get the impression that a TIN is required.
the Chair of SIFMAs Committee on Tax
Compliance and Administration

http://www.sifma.org/regulatory/comment_letters/47326787.pdf

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

As well, the following paragraph was found within the W-8BEN instructions:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Expiration of Form W-8BEN.   Generally, a Form W-8BEN provided without a U.S. taxpayer identification number (TIN) will remain in effect for a period starting on the date the form is signed and ending on the last day of the third succeeding calendar year, unless a change in circumstances makes any information on the form incorrect. For example, a Form W-8BEN signed on September 30, 2005, remains valid through December 31, 2008. A Form W-8BEN furnished with a U.S. TIN will remain in effect until a change in circumstances makes any information on the form incorrect, provided that the withholding agent reports on Form 1042-S at least one payment annually to the beneficial owner who provided the Form W-8BEN. See the instructions for line 6 beginning on page 4 for circumstances under which you must provide a U.S. TIN.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw8ben.pdf

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Without a doubt after reading the above mention, the only difference between having a TIN and not having one is the expiry date, and not withholding issues. Therefore, could Fotolia point us to the proper IRS directive indicating that they have the right to withhold 30%  after our W-8BEN have been validated without TIN? This only reasonable. Thank you.



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


It appears from the evidences above that it is the IRS instructions that are badly written and put everybody in a confusing state. I hope eventually that Fotolia will speak to the right tax expert.

Denis



I just got a response from Fotolia support indicating that the above mention evidences against the ITIN requirements were sent to their tax advisors for review. Denis

« Reply #110 on: December 24, 2009, 04:25 »
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With this in mind could you please send me by post NOT EMAIL a ORIGINAL LETTER ON FOTIOLIA'S LETTERHEAD, ADDRESSED TO ME AND STATING MY ACCOUNT NUMBER WITH FOTOLIO

As you well know I MUST COMPLY WITH THE IRS TAX REGULATIONS IN THIS MATTER.

Warren

Right, Warren.
This letter is a mandatory document when filing a W-7 and I really hope that fotolia will allow us more time to comply with it before withholding taxes on royalties....January 1 2010 is just ridiculous!
Why should I pay taxes to the US if a W-7 form couldn't have been submitted because a document from the withholding agent was missing??? ???

Merry Christmas to all you,
Diego

« Reply #111 on: December 24, 2009, 08:40 »
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Denis, going to be very interesting to see whether they change their tune and finally see the light!!!!  Who knows, we might just get lucky huh? ::)

« Reply #112 on: December 24, 2009, 16:44 »
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We will see Linn !!
I know !!!, Fotolia are saving the news (that we dont need the ITIN) till Christmas day as a Christmas prezzie  ;D

Right must go get my Santa outfit on now you all have a great Christmas

Warren

« Reply #113 on: December 24, 2009, 17:53 »
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When fotolia used to show who bought an image I rarely ever had an american sale.  My sales were virtually all European mostly Germany. Assuming that there haven`t been any very drastic changes in sales trends then we should get virtually nothing deducted from out commissions.

« Reply #114 on: December 26, 2009, 14:31 »
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@Fotographer,
that's good news, Fotographer, thank you, but that's not the point.
Point is - Treaty Countries do NOT need an ITIN number.
That's all there is to it.
I'm not sure which country you're coming from but for someone like me, living in Dublin, Ireland (treaty country) getting the ITIN number is truly a pain.
Takes time, costs money (over 200 euro), and might even involve a flight to the UK. Unfortunately the American embassy in Dublin does not deal with any kind of tax matters. I already called.
My portfolio 5 months with Fotolia, 200 images, credits 28.
Clearly, is not even worth it.
I wish Fotolia would pay more attention to its contributors. Sometimes we're right and in this case, we don't need that number.
Thank you Dennis, Warren, Princess and everyone else who tried to help.
Hopefully they'll listen.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 14:34 by Eireann »

« Reply #115 on: December 30, 2009, 05:06 »
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Just got a reply from my last message to suport !!!!!! here it is :-




Dear Warren,

Thank you for your e-mail. If you are referring to the W7 form, this can be arranged but we do send out digitally. I will have one prepared and emailed to you asap.

Kind regards,

Fotolia Team U.K.
0208 816 72 84



So sent another just to press the point over to them .... here is the reply to the above :-






Hiya,

An emailed letter will just be sent back from the IRS as this has happend before with other microstock agencies I need a letter posting to my address as do all contributors who require a ITIN number I do know this will be a pain but just as you have to abide by the rules of the IRS, then so do we !

Thanks

Warren

« Reply #116 on: December 30, 2009, 05:32 »
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Just got this reply :-



Dear Warren,

Thank you for your e-mail. Ok, just waiting feedback on these points from our finance team.

Kind regards,

Fotolia Team U.K.
0208 816 72 84



Lets wait and see !!

« Reply #117 on: December 30, 2009, 10:41 »
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Just got this reply :-



Dear Warren,

Thank you for your e-mail. Ok, just waiting feedback on these points from our finance team.

Kind regards,

Fotolia Team U.K.
0208 816 72 84



Lets wait and see !!

Good work Warren! Let's see what they say and hope they get back to you soon.

Happy New Year to you and all you lovely fotolia peeps who've been putting on the pressure regarding this whole tax issue!!

Let's all hope we ring in the new year with some good news!!  ;D

« Reply #118 on: December 30, 2009, 12:23 »
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Right !!!!!

if you read the posts on Fotolia forum you will see that I may have got somewere ! here is the last reply I got from Fotolia looks like we can now get letters posted to us i know this means that we still have to get the ITIN number but at least with the proper paperwork we souldnt get it all sent back fronm the IRS !! Now just need to know where to go from here with regards to the W-7 form and passport etc if anyone knows please let me know will have to do it all after the New Years Hangover !!


Dear Warren,

Thank you for update.
Our finance dept will draft a letter with your information and send to you in the post.

Kind regards,

Fotolia Team U.K.



All the very best for the New Year to everyone
(need a new keyboard now  ;D)

Warren

« Reply #119 on: December 30, 2009, 13:19 »
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looks like we can now get letters posted to us i know this means that we still have to get the ITIN number but at least with the proper paperwork we souldnt get it all sent back fronm the IRS !!
Frankly, I couldn't care less. I'm not going thru all this red tape just for Fotolia, a site that still pays me 3.20$ (soon 2$) for an EL (several in December), when I am bronze since years. When all the dust settled down and they're not going to address this properly, like Shutterstock or Bigstock, I'm done with them.

« Reply #120 on: December 30, 2009, 18:34 »
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Any body here knows what happens when you get banned from the forum ? coz not sure if I have cant get into the forum all I get is this error message


Error: Unable to write bans cache file to cache directory. Please make sure PHP has write access to the directory 'cache' .


its the word bans thats worrying !!

Warren

« Reply #121 on: December 30, 2009, 18:54 »
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I am just going to stop uploading if fotolia don't sort this out.  Other sites have done it and I don't see any reason why they should ask us to apply for this at such short notice over a holiday period.  After having my commission cut twice and then a third time by moving the canister levels, they should have lots of money to pay a decent tax adviser.  If they can't at least delay this and do all they can, like shutterstock did, I think they will have much bigger problems than they are anticipating.

« Reply #122 on: December 30, 2009, 18:59 »
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its the word bans thats worrying !!
Don't worry. I got it too and I never posted there. It's a simple programming error.

« Reply #123 on: December 30, 2009, 23:01 »
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I got it too Warren ... also thought I was banned, but it does seem like a glitch on their side.  Must be an overload of members asking for their letters in original form?  ;)

« Reply #124 on: December 30, 2009, 23:53 »
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Hi,
I realise my portfolio is not much to talk about and these are my stats:
5 months with Fotolia - 200 images - 28.1 credits (including an EL of some sorts - 6 credits)
The cost for getting the ITIN number - 200 euro + a lot of my time.
I would gladly fill up a form with all the necessary info but the ITIN number is not an easy task.
I barely have any spare time at all and I'm very reluctant to go to all that hassle just because Fotolia refuses to make the effort and help us out.
I'm disappointed and I'll be watching this thread for future guidance.
Whatever you decide to do, count me in. I'll follow in your steps.

PS I tried to post on Fotolia's forum a few moments ago. Got the same error message.


 

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