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Author Topic: IRS Withholding Taxes for non U.S. Submitters  (Read 96788 times)

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« Reply #150 on: May 28, 2009, 13:30 »
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The CEO rant post has been removed.

Hope they have him sitting down and breathing into a paper bag.

Forget taxes. The take-away here is - if you do something that annoys this guy he'll just delete all your work.  







« Reply #151 on: May 28, 2009, 13:32 »
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The CEO rant post has been removed.


It's still there, just not pinned on the first page.

http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=62351

« Reply #152 on: May 28, 2009, 13:34 »
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EDIT: original version posted lower on this page.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 14:10 by Talanis »

« Reply #153 on: May 28, 2009, 13:35 »
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By 'serious' I meant it doesn't look like he's messing around and is prepared to delete contributor accounts if necessary.

Shows how much SS values its contributors, I guess...
Sorry but you are biased. 

I'm not biased.  If he's willing to run about deleting people's accounts because they are trying to express their frustration, that doesn't seem to value those contributors (contributors, by the way, without whom he is just a guy with a couple of servers).

« Reply #154 on: May 28, 2009, 13:38 »
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I always have a problem with a company that puts up a "forum" and thinks it's going to be a place where people gather to sing the company song.   If you can't handle negative feedback, take down the forum.




« Reply #155 on: May 28, 2009, 13:40 »
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The CEO rant, recorded for posterity, in case it's removed from SS forums:


Okay.

1) This is a US government regulation. What would you like us to do about it? Go to jail? Go out of business? We are sorry - but we can't just move the company out of the US or creating another company somewhere else to pay you. That is called tax evasion. These are laws. We can't change the laws. We have 60 employees in NYC - they aren't going anywhere.

2) If you follow the rules you won't be double taxed. Your country has rules that we follow every day also. You may need to do a bit of work here, but we will help you out with them. You will have a chance to get your ITIN before we start following regulations and witholding.

3) If I continue to read threads on the forum that you will be taking your images elsewhere, I will delete them myself and close your account.

4) Online petition claiming we are taxing you? Why would we be taxing you? Again, this is the US government. We are just following the law.

5) Want to change your avatar to something obnoxious? Again, I will personally delete your profile, images, etc. You are just creating more work for us.

6) If you think other microstock companies are except from paying tax, think again. It's a matter of time before they start following the law also.

7) Why don't US citizens have to deal with this? Because we already have their W9 forms. Don't worry - they dealt with it also.

8) Welcome to doing business internationally. We will all make money together - but we have to follow the rules.

9) We will answer every single question you have - but you have to give us time to get to them.

Jon Oringer
Founder/CEO
Shutterstock Images LLC

« Reply #156 on: May 28, 2009, 13:42 »
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I beat you to it kgtoh ;P

« Reply #157 on: May 28, 2009, 13:45 »
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Number 3 is definitely altered on CEO rant post...


Missing:- "will be happy to delete"..
             -"we have already done it  several times" ..

Or something like that, but the meaning is the same...
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 13:50 by borg »

« Reply #158 on: May 28, 2009, 13:50 »
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There-s an interesting post in one of the threads by CSProductions
http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=62287&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=420
quote
Actually, SS is getting bad legal advice from their legal counsel. The income tax as administered by the IRS in the greatest hoax ever perpetrated upon a society. The Constitution For the United States limits the income tax laws to a very narrow and priviledged classification of activities. It is the activities that are taxed, and that tax is measured by the amount of income produced by those activities. It is not the income itself that is taxed. Royalties from activities such as those in which we are engaged here on SS are not included in that priviledged classification, so by withholding anything from anyone, SS is making itself subject to a charge of criminal conversion of property, even if it does so at the instruction of the IRS. This hoax is made possible largely by redefining commonly used words and phrases in the tax laws so that they are easily misconstrued and widely missaplied. I strongly recommend the book "Cracking the Code," available from www.LostHorizons.com.

« Reply #159 on: May 28, 2009, 13:52 »
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 ;D Talanis, you're right. oops.

Borg, you're also right. The current version has been cleaned up to make the CEO look more like a CEO and less like a teenage bully.

Original version (thanks to a poster on the SS forums who quoted the original in a reply):

1) This is a US government regulation. What would you like us to do about it? Go to jail? Go out of business? We are sorry - but we can't just move the company out of the US or creating another company somewhere else to pay you. That is called tax evasion. These are laws. We can't change the laws. We have 60 employees in NYC - they aren't going anywhere.

2) If you follow the rules you won't be double taxed. Your country has rules that we follow every day also. You may need to do a bit of work here, but we will help you out with them. You will have a chance to get your ITIN before we start following regulations and witholding.

3) If you don't want to deal with this, then leave. We are happy to remove all your images for you. If I continue to read threads on the forum that you will be taking your images elsewhere, I will delete them myself and close your account. I've done it a few times already- I am not kidding about this.

4) Online petition claiming we are taxing you? Why would we be taxing you? Again, this is the US government. We are just following the law.

5) Want to change your avatar to something obnoxious? Again, I will personally delete your profile, images, etc. You are just creating more work for us.

6) If you think other microstock companies are except from paying tax, think again. It's a matter of time before they start following the law also.

7) Why don't US citizens have to deal with this? Because we already have their W9 forms. Don't worry - they dealt with it also.

8) Welcome to doing business internationally. We will all make money together - but we have to follow the rules.

9) We will answer every single question you have - but you have to give us time to get to them.

alias

« Reply #160 on: May 28, 2009, 13:55 »
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There-s an interesting post in one of the threads by CSProductions ... etc ...I strongly recommend the book "Cracking the Code," available from www.LostHorizons.com.

Crazy conspiracy nonsense. You only have to look at the website he links to for about 1 sec to realize that :)

As you were ..

« Reply #161 on: May 28, 2009, 14:07 »
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There-s an interesting post in one of the threads by CSProductions ... etc ...I strongly recommend the book "Cracking the Code," available from www.LostHorizons.com.

Crazy conspiracy nonsense. You only have to look at the website he links to for about 1 sec to realize that :)

As you were ..

lol :D

« Reply #162 on: May 28, 2009, 14:08 »
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Just so you guys know, I posted about this on NiltoMil and Shutterstock almost immediately contacted me offering to answer any questions I can't find answers to (previous life I was in law)... so if you have questions, try to accumulate them here or post them to N2M and I'll submit them when I reply to them.  Hopefully having a direct line to some answers will help everyone.


thanks - I posted my questions there :)

« Reply #163 on: May 28, 2009, 14:08 »
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I'm as "happy" as anyone else with this issue, but if these are the US laws what would you want SS to do?

Should SS stage a Coup-d'etat in US so they could change the Tax Laws at gun point?

What's the part that this is THE LAW OF A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY that you don't understand?

If you work for a company, how would you like for it to move for a different country? Should the employees at SS be thrilled with the idea of having to move to a foreign country and turn their lives upside down so they could keep their job in a time of world crisis just to satisfy a bunch of people who don't take this activity seriously?

I don't like this issue either since I'll have to pay 10% and I already pay the taxes in my country, but this business is getting serious, and I, as a stock photography professional must comply with professional standards. All my income is from stock and so I wont play with issues like taxes and my duties.

Even if people earn 1 dollar per month in SS, that qualifies them in my view as professionals since they earn money from this activity. If you don't want to comply with the professional standards maybe it's time for you to leave microstock for people that take this seriously.

Sorry but as I said I don't like this issue either, I think it could have been better handled but comments are reaching to a point where most people are loosing their credibility. They are starting to sound as irresponsible whining babies.

So, do you also evade taxes in your country like you're demanding SS to do?

Regards,
E=mg2

« Reply #164 on: May 28, 2009, 14:09 »
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It sounds like sitting on 7 million images they do not care about individual supplier anymore :-)

« Reply #165 on: May 28, 2009, 14:30 »
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It sounds like sitting on 7 million images they do not care about individual supplier anymore :-)
Yeah, that much came through loud and clear.

alias

« Reply #166 on: May 28, 2009, 14:54 »
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So, do you also evade taxes in your country like you're demanding SS to do?

Relocating an international internet based business to a more competitive business environment would not constitute tax evasion.

Jurisdictions compete for business today by making it easy to do business. Because jobs are basically more important than taxing companies. That is perfectly legitimate within a framework of international agreement, best practice and regulation which is mandated by the OECD and, more recently, the G9. This is about creating the conditions for growth.

Regionalizing a business to offset the very negative effects of the anti competitive US legislation would absolutely not constitute evasion. Nor is it especially complicated.


« Reply #167 on: May 28, 2009, 15:04 »
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I'm as "happy" as anyone else with this issue, but if these are the US laws what would you want SS to do?

Should SS stage a Coup-d'etat in US so they could change the Tax Laws at gun point?

What's the part that this is THE LAW OF A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY that you don't understand?

If you work for a company, how would you like for it to move for a different country? Should the employees at SS be thrilled with the idea of having to move to a foreign country and turn their lives upside down so they could keep their job in a time of world crisis just to satisfy a bunch of people who don't take this activity seriously?

I don't like this issue either since I'll have to pay 10% and I already pay the taxes in my country, but this business is getting serious, and I, as a stock photography professional must comply with professional standards. All my income is from stock and so I wont play with issues like taxes and my duties.

Even if people earn 1 dollar per month in SS, that qualifies them in my view as professionals since they earn money from this activity. If you don't want to comply with the professional standards maybe it's time for you to leave microstock for people that take this seriously.

Sorry but as I said I don't like this issue either, I think it could have been better handled but comments are reaching to a point where most people are loosing their credibility. They are starting to sound as irresponsible whining babies.

So, do you also evade taxes in your country like you're demanding SS to do?

Regards,
E=mg2
I pay taxes in my country and as far I know the stock sites in my country don't withhold 30% tax and make people from selected countries fill out forms to get it back while keeping it from others.

I don't see why SS are doing this when other companies aren't.  Some of them obviously think this is just red tape that can be ignored and others have set up their finances outside the US while keeping their employees in the US.  Snap village were based in Ireland but they are owned by a US company, it can't be that difficult to set up.  It is obvious to me that SS need to look at this again.

« Reply #168 on: May 28, 2009, 15:07 »
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Can anyone please tell me what a TAX RETURN is ? It states that I should provide the IRS with the W-7 along with my "tax return". What is this? Do I have to include it?
In April of each year, every US person needs to go through their taxes for the previous year and report their income. That is called a tax return.

« Reply #169 on: May 28, 2009, 15:13 »
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How about opposite, e.g. Alamy is UK based if they pay me do I have to register within British government?

Fortunately I am EU citizen and US resident so I have been registered already, I think?

« Reply #170 on: May 28, 2009, 15:28 »
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Can anyone please tell me what a TAX RETURN is ? It states that I should provide the IRS with the W-7 along with my "tax return". What is this? Do I have to include it?
In April of each year, every US person needs to go through their taxes for the previous year and report their income. That is called a tax return.

Ah, thank you. So this doesn't apply to me as a danish citizen I guess? Should I just ignore it and send in the complete W-7 form a long with the documentation?

alias

« Reply #171 on: May 28, 2009, 15:37 »
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The counter argument is that the photographers are indivudally doing their business with Shutterstock from their own computers in their home countries. That the business between Shutterstock and the photographer is at the place where the image is uploaded from. Shutterstock is doing business in the US - but the photographers are not.

One solution would potentially be for the photographers to issue invoices to Shutterstock. The invoice originating not in the US.

« Reply #172 on: May 28, 2009, 15:56 »
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The counter argument is that the photographers are indivudally doing their business with Shutterstock from their own computers in their home countries. That the business between Shutterstock and the photographer is at the place where the image is uploaded from. Shutterstock is doing business in the US - but the photographers are not.

One solution would potentially be for the photographers to issue invoices to Shutterstock. The invoice originating not in the US.

Good idea, I hope you don't mind that I just quoted this on SS forum.

« Reply #173 on: May 28, 2009, 16:12 »
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Given that the two main business models for micro shooters are istock exclusive vs SS+others this whole business has strongly confirmed by decision to go with the former - not because of the tax issue but because of the attitude of SS. A recent campaign by contributors on istock was received with far more grace (and action) than appears to be happening here.

« Reply #174 on: May 28, 2009, 16:50 »
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Ah, thank you. So this doesn't apply to me as a danish citizen I guess? Should I just ignore it and send in the complete W-7 form a long with the documentation?
Yes. Tax return is not needed. Instead certified or notarized copies of your ID documents are needed.


 

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