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Author Topic: Tax Interview - How, Where, What? (Solved)  (Read 9238 times)

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Uncle Pete

« on: December 05, 2014, 19:40 »
0
This Tax Interview request went out to a number of contributors, but only a small number of iStock contributors. In order to get any assistance you will need to contact [email protected] (or reply to the email that was sent to you). Lobo OF Course: this thread is locked.

Can anyone tell me after I read pages and pages of lists and rules and Getty this and that. If I'm a US iStock contributor, with an EIN or W-9 if they want it, what is going on? Do I need to take the mysterious interview that's not linked from anything I can see or find? Or do I wait until, maybe IS might send me an interview? Or don't I need one, because I'm not on Getty... but my audio is on Getty because I'm an audio exclusive.

Or wait until my account is locked, for not taking the invisible interview?

I can only imagine how much more impossible this is for people out of the USA trying to navigate this confusion.

A simple link to where to take the Tax Interview would be fine.

Do 55,000 people now need to flood [email protected] and ask them? Something seems wrong with this.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 19:38 by Uncle Pete »


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2014, 19:44 »
0
Was that a new email you got?

shudderstok

« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2014, 20:15 »
+1
@ Uncle...

If I am to speculate, you are living in the USA.

From my working with GI they will notify you when they make the transition and again if I am reading into this correctly they are timing it for the tax year of 2015, hence the January transfer.

Based on my experience with GI directly, and having to do this interview recently, they will notify all contributors to fill out the interview. It is a very basic and simple process of a few questions that will simplify the transition of filling out a W8-BEN form. It's an IRS thing - not a GI thing.

From my understanding only from a GI contributor's perspective any person who makes an income derived from a US company must pay taxes regardless of which country you reside in. And GI is an US company so the IRS will nail you. Previously if you derived your income from IS which is a Canadian company, then the Canadian government does not withhold income and puts in good faith you will pay your taxes wherever you live. If you are a US citizen then by IRS law you must pay taxes on all income derived worldwide regardless of where you actually live, thus in theory you would claim this income in the US as an income even if it is derived from Canada.

It's really an US thing and an IRS thing.

The interview is very basic, where do you live, what is your Social Security Number - end.

If you live outside of the US it is where do you live, what is your ITIN number. Then if you live in a country with a tax treaty with the US then there will be no taxes deducted, if you live in a country with no tax treaty then you are screwed and will have the taxes withheld.

For example if you live in Thailand as a Canadian, then no tax will be withheld as Thailand is a treaty country. If you live in Malaysia as a Canadian, you pay tax to the IRS and GI will withhold this tax, as Malaysia is not a treaty country. If you are Canadian living in Canada then nothing will be withheld. If you are Thai living in Thailand you are okay. If  you are Malaysian living in Malaysia, you get screwed.

Americans will get screwed regardless of where they live as the US is the only country that residents and non-residents alike must pay taxes regardless of where they live. The US has a citizen based tax system.

Hope this makes sense to you.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2014, 20:19 »
0
Thanks shudderstok, got it while I was rambling. I'll just wait and see.

Sue:

No that quote was from the forum. I started reading through 24 pages of tax discussion for the "New and Improved IS", then I found the four message announcement thread. And last the one I quoted about where's the Tax Interview. Which was in the audio contributors.

FAQ Locked, Audio Thread, Locked, no Email, no interview link. I guess they don't need one from me? But I'm still wondering if that will mean excessive withholding. I'm in the US. As far as I know, self employed (I own the business) I do my own. EIN is for people who work for me. W-9 is for people I need to notify about my status, like suppliers. I have a tax exempt number for resale as well.

iStock? I'm more than happy to send them whatever the want, my EIN is over 44 years old. But I don't know if they need it or how? Like I said, I feel like I'm one of the easy ones with the USA taxes. I pity people in other countries who have to go through this maze of confusion.

If Getty/IS wants my data and information. No problem, I'll shoot it off to them. But it seems vague and ambiguous who needs to send it and how?



Was that a new email you got?

shudderstok

« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2014, 20:25 »
-1
@ Uncle...

The way I see it with this latest development is that all GI is doing is moving the financial admin to the US and now must comply with US law. In a way the move does make sense from an administrative point of view.

The only down side I see in this development are two things...

1) you don't live in a treaty country then you get tax withheld under US law. Complete bullsh!t.
2) you are a US citizen and have not been claiming the taxes like you should have under US law. And if you get caught at that one, you are in deep sh!t.

Apart from that, I think this is strictly the doings of the IRS and nothing to do with GI or IS. Any US based stock agency will do the same thing.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2014, 22:41 »
0
Thanks, maybe I'm over thinking this, since I'm already here, already claim the income and have the proper papers. I just saw that Tax Interview notice, with account being closed, but no way to take the interview.

vielleicht

« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2014, 16:07 »
+1
The way I see it with this latest development is that all GI is doing is moving the financial admin to the US and now must comply with US law.

Yes, but by asking for a foreign TIN on the W-8BEN form they are probably complying in their own special way, since no other site asks for that field.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2014, 19:37 »
0
I found it, I found it! Do I get a little gold star?  ;D

"As part of this change and to aid you with the transition, we will have an automated online interview process on iStock that will help determine the appropriate documentation each contributor should provide to Getty Images. Additionally, through this online interview process you can complete the appropriate forms and submit them. Links to this process will be available in the Contributor Tools section of your iStock profile starting January 22, 2015. 2014 payments will not be impacted by this change."

OK I confess I didn't read it the first time through the email. I generally skim over the party line blabbing that comes so often.

I was looking for the new payment schedule and happened to wake up.

shudderstok

« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2014, 20:36 »
0
The way I see it with this latest development is that all GI is doing is moving the financial admin to the US and now must comply with US law.


Yes, but by asking for a foreign TIN on the W-8BEN form they are probably complying in their own special way, since no other site asks for that field.


yes it must always be GI on the MSG. but the IRS says fill in your TIN on line 6. all of my US dealings from royalties, to dividends, to simple interest demand the same form be filled in and they all ask for a TIN. don't believe me?

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

maybe all of your other sites are TIN exempt from the IRS forms to be filled in accurately, but i somehow doubt that.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 20:39 by shudderstok »

« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2014, 05:09 »
0
All the other big sites let us leave the TIN blank and don't withhold tax for countries that have a 0% treaty.  If Getty insist on haviing that number, I think they will lose thousands of contributors that are allready sick of the way they have been treated in the past few years and are only still there because they can't be bothered to close their accounts.

« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2014, 06:37 »
+2
I think they will lose thousands of contributors

I believe that most people will do what they can to understand the process as it exists today and to minimize their tax liabilities. I don't understand your opposition.

If you look up the requirements for Amazon Kindle publishers you will see that a very similar process is now in places following the most recent changes to the IRS process - including the need for a TIN compatible code if people are in treaty states.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 09:21 by bunhill »

Uncle Pete

« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2014, 12:22 »
0
I hate to say this, because I agree in some ways and don't understand how the USA can take taxes from someone in the UK for trying to earn a living. BUT...

(see bold below) Great news, less competition = it means more money for me!  :)

I won't pretend to understand, but I do sympathize with people out of the US who are paying taxes for some strange reason. I repeat what I've written before. Get a good accountant to look into it. Probably for a free consultation and see if you can get a refund!

Since I'm already here and already paying US taxes, and I pay an account to do my taxes. I'm not going to do the leg work for anyone else if they can't get up and help themselves.

All the other big sites let us leave the TIN blank and don't withhold tax for countries that have a 0% treaty.  If Getty insist on haviing that number, I think they will lose thousands of contributors that are allready sick of the way they have been treated in the past few years and are only still there because they can't be bothered to close their accounts.

ShadySue

« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2014, 12:54 »
+2
I doubt very much if 'thousands' of people will leave.
If it's as straightforward as they're claiming it will be, it'll just be a minor nuisance to fill in the form for those who live in a reciprocal country.
In the old days, I'd have had to go down to London to have my passport verified at the Embassy or gone to an expensive QC for the same procedure. Then I might have questioned whether it was worth the bother, time and expense. But a little online interview will hopefully be not much bother.

Of course, it's probably more difficult for those in countries without a reciprocal agreement, but I don't know how many 'thousands' of people in that category would have to pay tax in their own country as well as the US.

I hate to say this, because I agree in some ways and don't understand how the USA can take taxes from someone in the UK for trying to earn a living. BUT...

(see bold below) Great news, less competition = it means more money for me!  :)

I won't pretend to understand, but I do sympathize with people out of the US who are paying taxes for some strange reason. I repeat what I've written before. Get a good accountant to look into it. Probably for a free consultation and see if you can get a refund!

Since I'm already here and already paying US taxes, and I pay an account to do my taxes. I'm not going to do the leg work for anyone else if they can't get up and help themselves.

All the other big sites let us leave the TIN blank and don't withhold tax for countries that have a 0% treaty.  If Getty insist on haviing that number, I think they will lose thousands of contributors that are allready sick of the way they have been treated in the past few years and are only still there because they can't be bothered to close their accounts.

« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2014, 13:34 »
0
Of course, it's probably more difficult for those in countries without a reciprocal agreement, but I don't know how many 'thousands' of people in that category would have to pay tax in their own country as well as the US.

I agree with you about it likely being relatively easy.

I am tax resident in a non treaty jurisdiction. And actually I don't think it is going to be any more complicated for me than it is for you. I do not have a TIN compatible tax reference number - but according to Lobo I will not need an EIN either. Downside is that I will lose 30% on US sales. Taxes here are  capped considerably under 30% therefore I will lose out on the difference. But I can live with that. And so long as they provide timely and accurate documentation it is no big deal.

(I think them closing the Calgary office was always a strong possibility anyhow. It would have been one of my top 3 iStock - Getty predictions ! Though I wonder what the case is for remaining in the US - Wall St etc perhaps.)

My iStock income has been in decline anyhow. I blame me for that (plus the huge increase in the size of the library and the inevitably decreasing market for cheap stock photos). On the plus side I feel like I am making good progress with RM at Alamy. Maybe I'm better at that.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 15:07 by bunhill »


 

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