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Author Topic: IRS Withholding Taxes for non U.S. Submitters  (Read 96787 times)

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« Reply #200 on: May 29, 2009, 09:01 »
0

Thank you thank you thank you Leaf for the tip about calling the IRS on the phone!!

I just made that call and it took me exactly 12 minutes to get my EIN number (5 minutes waiting for my turn, rest of the time answering questions).  All they needed was :  my name and address, NOTHING ELSE, not even the VAT number of my company.  I got the number at the end of the call, and I can use it immediately, though it will also be sent to me by mail.  The reason it took 7 minutes just to give my name and address was :  I had to spell every letter twice, and then the nice IRS lady spelled it letter by letter again for checking. 

I am afraid the next step won't be so easy though, because the W8-BEN form uses language that is completely over my head.

Is there any one on-line who could tell me which box/boxes I should tick on this form?
I am a Belgian one-man-business submitting to Shutterstock ...

(a) The beneficial owner is a resident of ...... (Belgium) within the meaning of the income tax treaty between the United States and that country.

(b) If required, the U.S. taxpayer identification number is stated on line 6 (see instructions).

(c) The beneficial owner is not an individual, derives the item (or items) of income for which the treaty benefits are claimed, and, if applicable, meets the requirements of the treaty provision dealing with limitation on benefits.

(d) The beneficial owner is not an individual, is claiming treaty benefits for dividends received from a foreign corporation or interest from a U.S. trade or business of a foreign corporation, and meets qualified resident status.

(e) The beneficial owner is related to the person obligated to pay the income within the meaning of section 267(b) or 707(b), and will file Form 8833 if the amount subject to withholding received during a calendar year exceeds, in the aggregate, $500,000.

I am quite sure (a) and (b) should be ticked, but what about (c) and (d) ?????

Clause 10 is also a mystery to me :
(10) Special rates and conditions (if applicablesee instructions): The beneficial owner is claiming the provisions of Article ........ of the treaty identified on line 9a above to claim a ....... % rate of withholding on (specify type of income): ........................... Explain the reasons the beneficial owner meets the terms of the treaty article:   ...

I wish Shutterstock would just publish a few fake examples ...





« Reply #201 on: May 29, 2009, 09:08 »
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Lucy, are you banned only from their forum, or your account is totally canceled?

Hi whitechild!

No, they didnt cancel my account... Im just banned from posting in the forums.   I can still read the threads though, and i can still read PMs that people send me. But when i send a pm  - the content is changed to SHUTTERSTOCK-BANNED.

x

« Reply #202 on: May 29, 2009, 09:16 »
0
Lucy, are you banned only from their forum, or your account is totally canceled?

Hi whitechild!

No, they didnt cancel my account... Im just banned from posting in the forums.   I can still read the threads though, and i can still read PMs that people send me. But when i send a pm  - the content is changed to SHUTTERSTOCK-BANNED.

x


What did you do to get banned?

Your posts were all well balanced and considered, in my opinion.  Unless you eventually lost your rag and they removed that post?!

« Reply #203 on: May 29, 2009, 09:45 »
0


Hi whitechild!

No, they didnt cancel my account... Im just banned from posting in the forums.   I can still read the threads though, and i can still read PMs that people send me. But when i send a pm  - the content is changed to SHUTTERSTOCK-BANNED.

x



Did you perhaps post the link to the petition somewhere? I think this is what they hated the most. This is my only explanation why I was banned myself...


EDIT: they suspended the account of the user who started the petition.

« Reply #204 on: May 29, 2009, 10:00 »
0
I think Lucy's banning was probably due to her avatar. 

The good news is the bans are rarely permanent.  I've only seen a permanent ban once in almost four years with SS (remember The Miz?).  Eventually, after everything settles down, almost everyone who was banned will be allowed to return to the forums.  The only exceptions will be those folks who had four previous warnings/bannings over misconduct. 

I'm actually surprised more people weren't banned.  The level of outrage over something SS has no control over, plus the ensuing misinformation that was being spread, was pretty ridiculous and very unprofessional on the part of some of the contributors.  Thank goodness calmer heads prevailed over here at Microstockgroup where accurate information can be shared. 

« Reply #205 on: May 29, 2009, 10:25 »
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Thank you thank you thank you Leaf for the tip about calling the IRS on the phone!!

I just made that call and it took me exactly 12 minutes to get my EIN number (5 minutes waiting for my turn, rest of the time answering questions).  All they needed was :  my name and address, NOTHING ELSE, not even the VAT number of my company.  I got the number at the end of the call, and I can use it immediately, though it will also be sent to me by mail.  The reason it took 7 minutes just to give my name and address was :  I had to spell every letter twice, and then the nice IRS lady spelled it letter by letter again for checking. 

I am afraid the next step won't be so easy though, because the W8-BEN form uses language that is completely over my head.

Is there any one on-line who could tell me which box/boxes I should tick on this form?
I am a Belgian one-man-business submitting to Shutterstock ...

(a) The beneficial owner is a resident of ...... (Belgium) within the meaning of the income tax treaty between the United States and that country.

(b) If required, the U.S. taxpayer identification number is stated on line 6 (see instructions).

(c) The beneficial owner is not an individual, derives the item (or items) of income for which the treaty benefits are claimed, and, if applicable, meets the requirements of the treaty provision dealing with limitation on benefits.

(d) The beneficial owner is not an individual, is claiming treaty benefits for dividends received from a foreign corporation or interest from a U.S. trade or business of a foreign corporation, and meets qualified resident status.

(e) The beneficial owner is related to the person obligated to pay the income within the meaning of section 267(b) or 707(b), and will file Form 8833 if the amount subject to withholding received during a calendar year exceeds, in the aggregate, $500,000.

I am quite sure (a) and (b) should be ticked, but what about (c) and (d) ?????

Clause 10 is also a mystery to me :
(10) Special rates and conditions (if applicablesee instructions): The beneficial owner is claiming the provisions of Article ........ of the treaty identified on line 9a above to claim a ....... % rate of withholding on (specify type of income): ........................... Explain the reasons the beneficial owner meets the terms of the treaty article:   ...

I wish Shutterstock would just publish a few fake examples ...





Its good its actually working. No hassle with notarized id :)  Im gonna make the call today.   I wonder why they dont need proof of existens for companies?

« Reply #206 on: May 29, 2009, 10:53 »
0
Have SS said they will accept an EIN number?  I can only see them asking for an ITIN number.

« Reply #207 on: May 29, 2009, 11:00 »
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Have SS said they will accept an EIN number?  I can only see them asking for an ITIN number.
I, and some other people, asked that very question in the ongoing thread on the SS-forum - No reply yet, their approach to answering contributors' questions is a bit, shall we say "unstructured"  ;)

« Reply #208 on: May 29, 2009, 11:01 »
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Have SS said they will accept an EIN number?  I can only see them asking for an ITIN number.

They really should. A company has to be able to deal with a company.

« Reply #209 on: May 29, 2009, 11:03 »
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Have SS said they will accept an EIN number?  I can only see them asking for an ITIN number.

What do Leaf say? Leaf!!!!! :)  

He was the one mention it from the beginning

« Reply #210 on: May 29, 2009, 11:09 »
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Thank you thank you thank you Leaf for the tip about calling the IRS on the phone!!

I just made that call and it took me exactly 12 minutes to get my EIN number (5 minutes waiting for my turn, rest of the time answering questions).  All they needed was :  my name and address, NOTHING ELSE, not even the VAT number of my company.  I got the number at the end of the call, and I can use it immediately, though it will also be sent to me by mail.  The reason it took 7 minutes just to give my name and address was :  I had to spell every letter twice, and then the nice IRS lady spelled it letter by letter again for checking. 

This morning I went to the city hall to get my passport copied and certified. Turned out the waiting time was about 1.5 hr. Probably all Dutch SS-photograhpers live in Spijkenisse and are simultaneously getting their copies certified. So I left and found this post, phoned the IRS and got my number in 11 minutes 4 seconds, all she wanted were the tradenames of my company and my name and address.
Leaf, although I misread your post on this (thought you meant you could phone the IRS for the number after you sent the form) I think you should win the check for most useful poster :) Split it with Anyka  ;D

« Reply #211 on: May 29, 2009, 11:32 »
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Im really hopeful about what Im reading on the SS thread about this issue.

They said they are working on ways to delay the withholding until we're all able to get the paperwork ready. And, as mentioned before, they're investigating the issue of US v non-US downloads...

So hopefully it won't hit non-treaty countries so hard... (and the rest of us who 'possibly' cant get this dang number, but what to do)

Wow, i wonder if you stacked up all the paperwork that us photographers will have to do to get an ITIN, i wonder if it would reach to the moon? I mean, if you do that with pennies on a chessboard apparently it will reach 3.4 light years high. Or something like that, i forget.

Another great thing is how much information there is out there about how to go about this thing... (bravi forums)

: ) x

ps. i didn't lose my rag, but i do feel a worrying absence of a marble somewhere... x
pps.  do IRS accept an application without a full set of notarised and apostilled marbles?


« Reply #212 on: May 29, 2009, 12:56 »
0
NEW!

Get you EIN on-line  8)

https://sa1.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp

Should save some cost...

« Reply #213 on: May 29, 2009, 13:02 »
0

NEW!

Get you EIN on-line  8)

https://sa1.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp

Should save some cost...

Restrictions:

The business location must be within the United States or U.S. territories.
Foreign filers without an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) cannot use this assistant to obtain an EIN.
If you were incorporated outside of the United States or the U.S. territories, you cannot apply for an EIN online. Please call us at 215-516-6999 (this is not a toll free number).

« Reply #214 on: May 29, 2009, 13:07 »
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Pitty...

« Reply #215 on: May 29, 2009, 13:19 »
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Have SS said they will accept an EIN number?  I can only see them asking for an ITIN number.

Shutterstock only cares that you can get a W-8BEN.  The EIN is acceptable for the W-8BEN form so yes,  you can use an EIN.  I have confirmed this with multiple sources all of whom agree that all you need for W-8BEN (the ultimate answer) is an ID number. Can be SSN, EIN or ITIN.

« Reply #216 on: May 29, 2009, 15:08 »
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you can claim the 5% against foreign income on your tax return (of course assuming you are not considered a hobby by the tax office, in which case then it is just lost, I think)
If you pay higher than 30% tax in your own country, I wonder if it is better to let them take 30% in the US and claim against it on your tax form?  Does anyone do this now?

I would also like to know this.  I guess each one of us need to call our local IRS and ask.    I have another business so I dont care if I get 30% of micro at the end of the year.


I have no concern with the SS situation, but this I can probably give an answer to. I had income in another Nordic country one year. They taxed me in that country, I entered the foreign income and foreign tax in my Norwegian tax returns. I was supposed to get a refund, but got double tax instead. Very funny, the total tax was about 70%.

If your local "IRS" does it correctly, you enter all you income, get a total tax, and withdraw the tax that has already been paid nationally and abroad. If they get confused, you have a lot of work in front of you.
You will never get less than the normal tax level.

In numbers:
Income 2008: 10 000
National tax prepaid 2008: 1000
Tax paid abroad (country with exchange agreement): 2500
Normal tax level: 45% = 4500.

Tax owed: 4500 - 1000 - 2500 = 1000.


« Reply #217 on: May 29, 2009, 15:22 »
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I also have my own business and is wondering if I should get ITIN or EIN. There could be future problems with the EIN. I read somewhere that you may have to lodge a tax return each year to IRS if you have income with EIN. That could mean more paperwork and even more hazzle than to just get the ITIN. Anyone knows anything about this????

« Reply #218 on: May 29, 2009, 16:24 »
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Before calling I recommend doing the form ss4 at irs.gov     Otherwise you might have problem understanding some of the questions asked.  Its simple stuff when you are prepared.  I waited 30 min for a stressed up guy that told me I needed to do this before calling.      Not all will have the luck of Anyka, who got the nice lady. 

RT


« Reply #219 on: May 29, 2009, 16:40 »
0
Before calling I recommend doing the form ss4 at irs.gov     Otherwise you might have problem understanding some of the questions asked.  Its simple stuff when you are prepared.  I waited 30 min for a stressed up guy that told me I needed to do this before calling.      Not all will have the luck of Anyka, who got the nice lady. 

Actually I think you may have got the 'jobs worth', when I got my EIN number it was the exact same experience as Leaf and Anyka, a quick phonecall, a few questions about my business and then my number was issued. Of course you need to have a business and give the right answers to the questions.

« Reply #220 on: May 29, 2009, 16:48 »
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There is no way I am going to apply for an ITIN number until I see that others have been successful using the SS email.  Look at this post in the SS forum, looks like he went through the same thing with photoshelter and it didn't work.

http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=954203&highlight=#954203

Hopefully the EIN number will be sufficient and I will get one of them if SS accept it.

« Reply #221 on: May 29, 2009, 17:02 »
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Before calling I recommend doing the form ss4 at irs.gov     Otherwise you might have problem understanding some of the questions asked.  Its simple stuff when you are prepared.  I waited 30 min for a stressed up guy that told me I needed to do this before calling.      Not all will have the luck of Anyka, who got the nice lady. 

Actually I think you may have got the 'jobs worth', when I got my EIN number it was the exact same experience as Leaf and Anyka, a quick phonecall, a few questions about my business and then my number was issued. Of course you need to have a business and give the right answers to the questions.

I had never heard the word "sole proprietor" .  And he had no time explaining.    I would have understand I he had 20 sec to explain.   

« Reply #222 on: May 29, 2009, 17:45 »
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Of course, I'm not involved with all this, but I saw this post:
"So this is where it ends. After 3 years, I think is time to close my SS, account or at least I will delete my images, since I am not going to pay taxes to a country where I do not live. Taxes are paid to pay roads, public services, hospitals etc., and since I don't live in the US I DO NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THOSE."

It does make sense to me.  How (in the big picture) does the US justify a claim on income earned by someone who does not live in this country?

« Reply #223 on: May 29, 2009, 18:12 »
0
Of course, I'm not involved with all this, but I saw this post:
"So this is where it ends. After 3 years, I think is time to close my SS, account or at least I will delete my images, since I am not going to pay taxes to a country where I do not live. Taxes are paid to pay roads, public services, hospitals etc., and since I don't live in the US I DO NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THOSE."

It does make sense to me.  How (in the big picture) does the US justify a claim on income earned by someone who does not live in this country?

sjlocke:

First, as you are fully aware, the Internet was created by the United States under the supervision of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Al Gore.  There would be no such thing as the Internet if it weren't for good old Al.  Since the U.S. created the Internet, it is only fair that it reaps the rewards from any commerce done over the Internet.  ;)

Second, SS employees benefit from many of the services that you mentioned (roads, public services, hospitals etc).  SS could not be one of the largest microstock agencies in the world if it weren't for the U.S. infrastructure.  :D

Third, someone needs to pay for the brand new Internet Czar and Internet agency that is being created (to shut down the Internet when all of those angry artists decide that they want to attack the U.S. with a new virus).  The U.S. has spent over $10 trillion in the past few months on trying to save the world and is almost bankrupt.  They need everyone else's help.  I'm sure that those citizens that live in Socialist or Communist countries can understand the concept of sharing.  I think that it is better to ask for help, then for the U.S. to just send troops to those countries and take what is rightfully theirs in the first place.  :)

Fourth, these taxes are meant to help foreigners (to the U.S.) and help to reduce their tax burden.  If it weren't for these treaties, foreigners would be taxed at much higher rates.  So foreigners should really thank the U.S. for helping them out.  ;D

Finally, it paves the way for SS (and other microstock agencies) to introduce its next benefit to contributors: free images.  You see, if you give away your images, then you won't have to pay taxes on them.  I have inside information that this new license will be called the Tax Free (or TF) license.  The TF license will take the microstock world by storm.  :o

 :P


« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 18:15 by GeoPappas »

« Reply #224 on: May 29, 2009, 18:13 »
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Will Getty do the same one day?


 

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