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Messages - Bateleur

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 35
1 / Re: SS tax from this month
« on: September 02, 2009, 11:34 »
They took 3.6% from me. Much less than I thought, but still too much.

Why . should I pay taxes to the US, a country I have never ever had anything to do with, apart from using Shutterstock?

I don't pay taxes to the UK, Canada, Norway, all other countries where I sell images.


This was never just about losing personal income. For many it has a significant ethical and political dimension. 

Absolutely agree. I have no connection at all with the USA, never been there, no intention of going, and I don't see why I should pay any money, no matter how little, into their Government coffers.

I mean ... apart from anything else ... aren't they already the richest country in the world? Why do they need to suck in money from others, many of whom live in far poorer countries and, like me have no connection with the US?

I don't wish to give the US Government a pile of my personal data, either. I declined an offer to join another US agency for that reason.

I'm seriously considering pulling my portfolio from SS.

I believe what that means is that if the buyer is in the US - you will get taxed the 30% if you dont get your ITIN and W8 to them (or 30% if your country has no treaty with the US)

If the buyer is not from the US (lets say the buyer is from Europe) you will not be taxed at all even if you dont get your ITIN and W8 done.

Thats how I am reading it.

That's how I understand it too.

So, surely it shouldn't be too difficult for Shutterstock to introduce an 'opt out of selling to US buyers' box, just as they have opt in/out choices for Per picture sales / Partners, CD-A-Month Service, Enhanced License and so on.

However, from what I understand reading the forums, they are not considering this at all.

One aspect that I am deeply uneasy about is the US Government collecting personal data on hundreds of thousands of people who have no connection with the US whatsoever ... like me.

I don't want to give the US Government my name, address, birth information, citizenship status, foreign tax number, signature and a copy of my identity document (all of which are required for the ITIN). What business is it of theirs?

I don't want to give them 30% of my income from Shutterstock either.

So I guess I'm out of Shutterstock. Too bad, but there are many more agencies in the field, across the globe. I never thought the day would come, but I may even go exclusive with one of them now.

5  (page bottom)

It seems to me that if the country is not on this list, they take us 30% with or without paperwork...

Please correct me if I am wrong!!!!!

That's what it looks like, unfortunately. You're going to lose a third of your income to the Government of country with which you have no connection (I'm guessing).

As  understand it (as British Citizen who has never been to the USA and is a resident of Switzerland, also 0%) we are required to:

1)  Obtain a 'U.S. Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)'. This can take 4-6 weeks.

2)  Then, with this number, fill in the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-8BEN

3)  Once these things have been done and approved we will be granted the 0% tax status. But, until steps 1 and 2 have been completed we will be subject to a 30% Withholding Tax.

Please correct me, someone, if I'm wrong.

I object to this most strongly.

I know that the USA considers that it rules the world, but I fail to see why I should give the US authorities the details they require. I have no connection whatsoever with the country and my personal details are none of their business. No other country has the gall to do this.

I am very seriously considering closing my Shutterstock account. It will be tough, as it is one of my better earners, but I'll find other agencies in other countries - countries that don't act in such a high-handed way - and that will make up for it.

A bit annoying that you have to do the extra step now, but otherwise doesn't affect me.

Call me ultra-cautious but I've never been happy with the idea of giving a third party access to my accounts.

I use Nikon because, like others, it's the first SLR I had.

I bought a Nikkormat FTN with my first pay rise back in the 1970s, started to accumulate lenses and have never looked back.

Before that I was using a weird semi-SLR made in the UK called a Periflex (made by Corfield).

I've still got both cameras, and the lenses from my Nikkormat still fit on my D3, though no automatic anything.

9 / Re: rejection humor
« on: March 09, 2009, 04:22 »
Why have you got the word 'rosacea' in the keywords? Was it that which triggered a rejection?

I'm a mother-tongue English speaker and the only meaning of the word I know of is the scientific one - members of the Rose family.

Now, I've heard some beautiful people being described as 'a rose', but ...   :-)

General Photography Discussion / Re: Is Digital Dead?
« on: March 09, 2009, 04:12 »

... for some time now Ken Rockwell has been berating digital ...

He's being deliberately controversial to drive traffic to his web site. Attention-seeking, but otherwise meaningless. Did you read what he had to say about microstock a little while back?

General Photography Discussion / Re: Photographer = Terrorist
« on: March 06, 2009, 16:13 »
On a more serious note (at least, I think so), if you now take a photograph of a police officer in the UK - or even an ex-police officer - you could find yourself convicted under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 and sentenced for up to 10 years imprisonment.

On the other hand ...

Listen to the comments made by the police officers as they film.

And don't forget, if you walk about the city streets in UK you are probably photographed dozens of times each day. What happens to those images?

Anyone read George Orwell?

12 / Re: Dreamstime - Is it time to leave
« on: March 04, 2009, 11:18 »
Dreamstime is fine with me too.

And, anyway, who cares if someone leaves? That happens all the time in companies.

I suspect someone may have a massive chip on the shoulder. Too many rejections?

General Stock Discussion / Re: major milestone
« on: March 03, 2009, 03:57 »
Congratulations. That's a great milestone. And satisfying too.

I just found these two:

Me as the angry librarian.

What are they saying about you ... ?   ;)

15 / Re: Activity at Big Stock
« on: March 03, 2009, 01:41 »
I had a good month with them in February. Not a BME, but up close.

It's all swings and roundabouts, ebb and flo, waxing and waning ...

16 / BigStock free photo library
« on: February 25, 2009, 04:25 »
Has anyone put this facility on their own personal web site?

Any experiences with installing it, or with it in use?

Is it a good thing (that is, for us photographers) to promote?

I'm toying with the idea of putting it on my own website.

Yaymicro / Re: Yay! ...
« on: February 13, 2009, 18:21 »
hey congrats! still no sales for me yet with 1,400+ images approved. I just need to be patient I guess.

Yeah ... patience is a virtue. I guess I'll reach payout level with them just in time for it to help pay for a coffin.

Lighting / Re: Profotos vs AlienBees?
« on: February 13, 2009, 13:38 »
For Europeans, who can't get AlienBees, I find Elinchrom excellent. No quibbles at all.

What a useless and confused piece of writing.

He starts off by referring to Microstock, a bit of its history and what it is. Then he switches to a review of Laurin's CD. Then he finishes off with:

Again, I know nothing of micrtostock and leave it to you to figure out if it makes sense for you. I hear there are plenty of full-time pros who do it.

So why write this rambling rubbish in the first place? A complete waste of screen space. And doesn't inspire confidence in the other stuff on his site.

Yaymicro / Yay! ...
« on: February 13, 2009, 13:21 »
... I've sold something.

About time too.

Cameras / Lenses / Re: Canoneers - Your advice please
« on: December 14, 2008, 13:05 »
Thanks for your advice everyone.

A lot of interesting points raised ... not only about the different lenses available, but also about the 'philosophy' (if that doesn't sound too grand) of buying a telephoto for a 14-year old.

In fact she's a very keen photographer. My friend's bought a copy of my book to giver her for Christmas and he's asked me to give her a few hours photography tutorial based on it.

Cameras / Lenses / Re: Canoneers - Your advice please
« on: December 13, 2008, 10:39 »
Telezoom or prime?
I can easily recommend the 70-200/2.8 non-IS i think you still can buy it new for about 65% of the price of the IS-Version. It's optically superior than the IS.
It's one of my best lenses (and i have plenty ;D).

I'm pretty sure it would be a zoom ...

But good point. Thanks. I'll put it to him (and explain what a prime is). You can get much more optical bang for your buck with a prime.

Cameras / Lenses / Canoneers - Your advice please
« on: December 13, 2008, 09:32 »
A friend of mine wants to buy a telephoto lens for his 14-year old daughter for Christmas, and is asking my advice.

He regards me as the fount of all knowledge with regard to things photographic   :-[   but I'm a Nikonista so I'm not completely up to speed with Canon possibilities.

Can anyone recommend anything? She's using a Canon EOS 400D

Thanks for your help.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Bottlenecking...where do you?
« on: December 06, 2008, 04:32 »
Two places for me:

1) Keywording. Drives me crazy.

2) Record-keeping. Keeping track of what I've submitted where, and what's been accepted/rejected.

Do you technically have to do #2?  Does it take "time" in the process?  Or is it something more like "good info to have" instead of the actual just shoot & submit?  I dunno - Cushy is decent in that way - tells me to where I've uploaded at least.  i could use it for more but since it's all manual, I haven't yet.

It depends on what you mean by '... the process.'

I'm taking it to mean the whole range of things you have (or, maybe 'should') do when selling photographs through agencies.

You have to set up shoots (one way or another), take the photographs, convert them from RAW and otherwise process them, keyword them, etc. etc. Leave out any one of these 'processes' and you won't sell anything. But your photographs will sell just as well if you don't keep any records at all.

But is that wise?

General Stock Discussion / Re: Bottlenecking...where do you?
« on: December 03, 2008, 01:58 »
Two places for me:

1) Keywording. Drives me crazy.

2) Record-keeping. Keeping track of what I've submitted where, and what's been accepted/rejected.

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