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Author Topic: Fotolia and Witholding Taxes!  (Read 48721 times)

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« Reply #75 on: December 14, 2009, 10:43 »
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Someone please help me with Fotolia's taxes. I requested payout a week ago and those credits are still pending. So I mailed them asking about my payout, it never took so long. Their answer was that as long I don't submit my tax form, they cannot pay me. So, what to do next? I've read those paragraphs but I don't understand anything. What should I do? I live in Romania and I'm an individual, that's all I know, haha.
Thanks,

Bogdan


« Reply #76 on: December 14, 2009, 14:56 »
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I filled in my form (non US resident, no treaty) yesterday.  It is still pending - do you know how long this is taking?

« Reply #77 on: December 14, 2009, 16:16 »
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It didn't take long for them to approve my form but people have asked and they will still withhold tax without the ITIN number.  I will wait and see if they change their minds, like SS did.  If not, I might get an EIN number, looks like a better option.

« Reply #78 on: December 15, 2009, 06:17 »
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Hi all,

do some of you know if fotolia sent a signed letter to be submitted along with the W-7 when applying for an ITIN? Otherwise the application will be rejected for sure....

Thanks a lot,
Diego

« Reply #79 on: December 15, 2009, 06:33 »
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Hi all,

do some of you know if fotolia sent a signed letter to be submitted along with the W-7 when applying for an ITIN? Otherwise the application will be rejected for sure....

Thanks a lot,
Diego
In the forum they say you have to ask support to send you one.

« Reply #80 on: December 15, 2009, 07:58 »
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I requested a payout 10 days ago as well, but it's still pending and I don't have high hopes of receiving the payment without submitting the W8-BEN.
I'm NOT letting them take 30% of my US income as the treaty says 0% for my country, but I have NO CLUE how to apply for an ITIN.

I was hoping that Fotolia would find out for themself that this ITIN is not necessary, but I probably have to go through all the hassle of getting an ITIN anyways.
How do I proceed? Anyone who reads this, how are YOU dealing with this as an individual? In my opinion, this is a major problem that is not being discussed enough.

RT


« Reply #81 on: December 15, 2009, 08:27 »
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I had problems getting my EIN number being accepted because their automated form wouldn't accept the number and my details, I ended up getting my case forwarded to the finance director and I  sent them a copy of the letter from the IRS, my form was accepted but I still got the bulk standard reply that many have had stating 'may be withheld' etc.

They really haven't got a clue how to handle this situation, I've completed this process on nine other occassions without a hitch of any kind.  ::)

« Reply #82 on: December 15, 2009, 10:25 »
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I requested a payout 10 days ago as well, but it's still pending and I don't have high hopes of receiving the payment without submitting the W8-BEN.
I'm NOT letting them take 30% of my US income as the treaty says 0% for my country, but I have NO CLUE how to apply for an ITIN.

I was hoping that Fotolia would find out for themself that this ITIN is not necessary, but I probably have to go through all the hassle of getting an ITIN anyways.
How do I proceed? Anyone who reads this, how are YOU dealing with this as an individual? In my opinion, this is a major problem that is not being discussed enough.

The newsletter we received (AFTER they had put up the tax library) stated that you had time to sort your forms out by January 1st. So I don't think tax will be deducted for pending payouts.

RT is completely right: They don't know what they or we are to do.

I for myself am not going to do anything. I'm not willing to go through the ITIN apllication process for various reasons, and on the other hand, I'm quite certain that I hardly have any sales in the US anyway. They must be spending their time figuring out how they are going to get around sending out signed letters to all these individuals.

It seems peculiar to me that there is hardly any discussion in the forums. After an admin confirmed that the ITIN is needed after all, there wasn't the uproar in the German Forum I expected at all. On the other hand, people know very well that they have no reliable answers or apoligies for the contradicting information of the past weeks to expect. Why bother and complain and getted barred.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 10:28 by stardust »

« Reply #83 on: December 15, 2009, 11:15 »
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How did you get them to forward your case? They keep rejecting my application and the only answer I can get is a standard "we don't handle that go to the tax center for more info or ask your accountant" I can't even talk to a person.

RT


« Reply #84 on: December 15, 2009, 11:33 »
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How did you get them to forward your case? They keep rejecting my application and the only answer I can get is a standard "we don't handle that go to the tax center for more info or ask your accountant" I can't even talk to a person.

Yeah I had that a couple of times so I sent them a sitemail explaining that their form was wrong with an explanation, then they contacted me which resulted in me explaining how the tax system works over here which isn't compliant with their standard automated form, in a round about kind of way they admitted that they have created the form based on how the US tax system works which obviously isn't the same around the world.
Their form was telling me that to be a business with an EIN I had to be incorporated, I'm not and don't have to be in the UK and when I got my EIN number from the IRS they were fully aware of this and how the UK tax system works, they even explained what boxes to tick and how to fill out a W-8BEN so that our system works with theirs, of course the Fotolia automated form wouldn't allow this and hence it kept getting rejected.
In the end the guy I had been dealing with sent my details and copy of my EIN letter from the IRS to their finance director, what the outcome will be who knows but one things for sure I'm not subject to tax withholding as far as the IRS are concerned, trying to get Fotolia to realise this seems to be the hard part.

« Reply #85 on: December 15, 2009, 23:35 »
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Someone please help me with Fotolia's taxes. I requested payout a week ago and those credits are still pending. So I mailed them asking about my payout, it never took so long. Their answer was that as long I don't submit my tax form, they cannot pay me. So, what to do next? I've read those paragraphs but I don't understand anything. What should I do? I live in Romania and I'm an individual, that's all I know, haha.
Thanks,

Bogdan


Click on the 'tax centre' link on the top right of your fotolia member home page and find the link to the W-8BEN form

And this link may help you fill it out (but put in Romania of course, not Italy)

http://www.mystockphoto.org/fotolia-tax/

hope this helps, but ask again if you have any problems  and I (or someone esle here) might be able to help ;D

« Reply #86 on: December 16, 2009, 09:06 »
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@Tomboy2290 Thanks for pointing out my link at mystockphoto.org
http://www.mystockphoto.org/fotolia-tax/

The W-8BEN form online  filled as you can see in this post was accepted.
Cheers,
     roberto

« Reply #87 on: December 16, 2009, 17:14 »
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@Tomboy2290 Thanks for pointing out my link at mystockphoto.org
http://www.mystockphoto.org/fotolia-tax/

The W-8BEN form online  filled as you can see in this post was accepted.
Cheers,
     roberto



you're welcome and good luck to us all  ;)

« Reply #88 on: December 20, 2009, 05:54 »
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I submitted my W8BEN to Fotolia and that got accepted before all this hoo-hah about the ITIN. After Chad (head of US operations) posted on the forum that if we need an ITIN, we should contact support to get a W7 certificate. I did contact support for this and they replied by asking me what the certificate was for!!! I had even quoted Chad's post and explained what it was for! I replied repeating more or less what I'd said the first time and I finally got a reply that I was going to be emailed the W7 certificate. I got it a few days later.

Then a Fotolia member pointed out that from his experience, the IRS DO NOT accept anything other than an original paper confirmation, not a PDF!!! So some people would have gone to all the expense and time wasted to apply for the ITIN with the pdf only to be back at square one!

So a few of us discussing this have decided to do nothing about it and just wait for Fotolia to announce that the ITIN is not required! The whole thing is a joke!  >:(

« Reply #89 on: December 20, 2009, 06:01 »
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Princess Hiya

If you look at one of my last posts on the fotolia forum re this, I logged into my bigstock account the other day and all I had to do with regards this tax thing was tick a box saying I was from the UK !!!!

Warren

PS Nice to see you here Princess you will have to get a photo of yourself loaded lol

« Reply #90 on: December 20, 2009, 06:19 »
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Princess Hiya

If you look at one of my last posts on the fotolia forum re this, I logged into my bigstock account the other day and all I had to do with regards this tax thing was tick a box saying I was from the UK !!!!

Warren

PS Nice to see you here Princess you will have to get a photo of yourself loaded lol

Hey Warren! Nice to see you here too!  ;D

Why can't it be as simple as BigStock?! After all, if the UK has a tax treaty with the US, then as a UK citizen, there is no tax to pay, end of story.

I've chickened out of posting a photo of myself and stuck to my usual PZ that always comes out blury no matter what I do. Actually, I don't have a pic of myself from recent months, so that's also another excuse.  ;)

I do want to speak to you about your experiences with various sites. I've only recently started tarting myself on new agencies, and would welcome your feedback. Do they do PMs here?

« Reply #91 on: December 20, 2009, 13:02 »
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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


« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 13:33 by cybernesco »

« Reply #92 on: December 20, 2009, 15:15 »
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Yep, I've just read that on the forum too. He's sent an email to fotolia with all the evidence. I'm sure he'll keep us posted on the outcome.  :)

« Reply #93 on: December 20, 2009, 20:01 »
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I'm not so much bothered by Fotolia's interpretation of US tax law, as I am...
1) Frustrated by Fotolia's lack of respect for me, a contributor....
2) Aggravated by Fotolia's lack of communication with me, a supplier of the product they sell...
3) Bewildered by Fotolia's lack of explaination of their policies to their own employees and moderators...

All I can say is... exclusivity at IS is starting to look better and better...

« Reply #94 on: December 21, 2009, 03:06 »
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^^^I agree about fotolia but I am also frustrated by istock.  I just detest the $0.25 subs commissions they are offering us.  I can opt out but it is a shame that my earnings are going to drop and they might hold back other sites from raising prices.  Even FT pay a lot more than them.  I could go exclusive and get more commission with subs but istock don't make enough for me to make that a good option.

I will spend most of my time next year just using the sites I like and starting other ways to make money from my images.

« Reply #95 on: December 21, 2009, 09:27 »
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Anyone here with fotolia and and other stock sites who have had to do the tax thing can they please let me know on here how the other sites dealt with it.
did they have to get an ITIN number?, what forms had to be filled in ect ect.
just post here and lets see how other sites have delt with it may give us some ammo at Fotolia, Im only with Fotolia and Bigstock and I know at Bigstock all I had to do was tick a box saying I was from the UK.
Fotolia just dont seem to grasp the distress this is causing many people.

Thanks in advance

Warren

« Reply #96 on: December 21, 2009, 09:34 »
0
I'm not so much bothered by Fotolia's interpretation of US tax law, as I am...
1) Frustrated by Fotolia's lack of respect for me, a contributor....
2) Aggravated by Fotolia's lack of communication with me, a supplier of the product they sell...
3) Bewildered by Fotolia's lack of explaination of their policies to their own employees and moderators...

All I can say is... exclusivity at IS is starting to look better and better...

I think you've summed up how many of us feel about this issue and FT's handling of it (or rather lack of). Very well said indeed.

« Reply #97 on: December 21, 2009, 11:29 »
0
Anyone here with fotolia and and other stock sites who have had to do the tax thing can they please let me know on here how the other sites dealt with it.
did they have to get an ITIN number?, what forms had to be filled in ect ect.
just post here and lets see how other sites have delt with it may give us some ammo at Fotolia, Im only with Fotolia and Bigstock and I know at Bigstock all I had to do was tick a box saying I was from the UK.
Fotolia just dont seem to grasp the distress this is causing many people.

Thanks in advance

Warren


Hello Warren, I am at my full time work right now and strangely the firewall prevent me from getting into Fotolia's forum,  but I am able to write here. Anyway, I just found this IRS "2009 publication 515" which is basically a 57 pages guideline for withholding agents such as Fotolia.  It provides detail instructions about withholding issues for the agencies. We can have a glimpse at the other side of the medal regarding their obligations ect... I haven't read it yet.
I am just about to have a quick look. If anybody find something interesting let us know. Denis

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p515.pdf

« Reply #98 on: December 21, 2009, 11:51 »
0
Anyone here with fotolia and and other stock sites who have had to do the tax thing can they please let me know on here how the other sites dealt with it.
did they have to get an ITIN number?, what forms had to be filled in ect ect.
just post here and lets see how other sites have delt with it may give us some ammo at Fotolia, Im only with Fotolia and Bigstock and I know at Bigstock all I had to do was tick a box saying I was from the UK.
Fotolia just dont seem to grasp the distress this is causing many people.

Thanks in advance

Warren
Shutterstock originally asked for an ITIN number but all hell broke lose on their forum and after a few weeks they changed to letting us fill out the form without the ITIN number.  Bigstock are now owned by Shutterstock, so they don't ask for the ITIN.  None of the other big sites ask for an ITIN and I have read that Getty don't ask for an ITIN any more.  It looks like Fotolia need to speak to the tax people the other sites are using.

« Reply #99 on: December 21, 2009, 15:30 »
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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!)


 

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