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Author Topic: IRS Withholding Taxes for non U.S. Submitters  (Read 95244 times)

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« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2009, 17:26 »
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Reading through the SS forum thread, this look like a complete mess.  As none of the other US based sites ask for this, I can't see many people doing it just for shutterstock.  They will have to explain why they need the ITIN number when I know other US companies just ask for a W-8BEN form to be filled in every few years.


dk

« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2009, 17:34 »
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- Pay your rates
- I'll pay tomorrow!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWkpL8vSQ7Y" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWkpL8vSQ7Y</a>


 ;D

« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2009, 17:47 »
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Reading through the SS forum thread, this look like a complete mess.  As none of the other US based sites ask for this, I can't see many people doing it just for shutterstock.  They will have to explain why they need the ITIN number when I know other US companies just ask for a W-8BEN form to be filled in every few years.

Macro agencies have had to deal with this for years. i can't think of one that hasn't asked for a w-8BEN form. The form requires either a ITIN or EIN to be valid. It is probably something that will catch up with all US based micros as the default to collect tax will probably land on the micros door. If they don't collect it doesn't mean they shouldn't have and may be liable for it or a fine. My advice is get the number. As far as I can tell you never actually have to deal with the IRS after that. It's a simple enough process and once complete your good to go. W-BEN takes a minute to fill out and that's it. I don't think I have gotten asked for a second one from anybody. They don't seem to expire. The idea of paying 30% or higher to Uncle Sam, who is not even my cousin, doesn't sit right with me and this makes it all very legal and complete.

Milinz

« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2009, 17:49 »
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AND - IT IS LOCKED NOW!

 ;D

MAF

« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2009, 17:57 »
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Sounds reasonably painless - thanks for the info Zeus.  Guess I get a number.

« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2009, 18:34 »
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ok,that seriously made me think closing my account I hope they will sort this out somehow! ??? ??? ???

« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2009, 19:30 »
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Oh , nice , Im in doubt , to leave Croatia or close the my SS account.

« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2009, 19:34 »
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I can't see why they couldn't just prepare an email for submitters from each country explaining clearly what was needed from us. I don't have time to wade through pages of forum posts or the IRS website.

« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2009, 19:40 »
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Is this some sort of joke?

it's no joke. it's obama and his groupies.
Don't be silly. It has nothing to do with Obama...
Obama is the new Bush. I for one welcome our new Obama groupie overlords. Foreigners Beware: After seizing your SS revenues, Obama's next step will be to start waterboarding all of you. :-*

« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2009, 19:46 »
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Double indemnity taxation - I live in the UK, so if I do nothing, it will be 0% withheld as that is the current tax agreement.
You still need to file form W-8BEN to let SS and IRS know that you are from the UK and that you are claiming the benefits of the US/UK tax treaty.

« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2009, 19:48 »
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Im not an accountant and I just came from a concert so I'm not in the best for for thinking , but one thing comes to my mind

With this logic , don't all those countries where the buyers are from have the same rights as US in this case , and are also entitled to their part of the cake from all the cumulative fee that left their borders from its citizens pockets.

Also , if we, that provide free images to SS , (cause we are not payed for the upload) have to pay taxes to US where SS is based , with same logic SS would have to pay part of its income that came from our images to our governments the same way as we do ?

Why would SS avoid double taxes and we don't , or why would US have more rights than other countries in this case ?  
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 19:50 by Lizard »

« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2009, 19:52 »
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I can't see why they couldn't just prepare an email for submitters from each country explaining clearly what was needed from us. I don't have time to wade through pages of forum posts or the IRS website.
They have given a list of countries where tax treaty applies. If you are from one of those countries, you need to file the form. If not, you don't need to do anything but 30% will be taken from each check.

Depending on your total income from US sources, this 30% should be something recoverable if you file a tax return with the US in April each year. Now, THAT can be a bit of work, although there are tax programs and online pages to help with that.

« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2009, 20:05 »
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I am paying taxes in the UK. And apparently if I fill these forms I won't pay anything to US authorities.

But why all the hassle? Unbelievable! Why can't I just get a letter from Inland Revenue in the UK or basically a letter from my accountant, or paperwork that shows I already pay taxes in the UK.

Why all the BS!?

« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2009, 20:20 »
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I am paying taxes in the UK. And apparently if I fill these forms I won't pay anything to US authorities.

But why all the hassle? Unbelievable! Why can't I just get a letter from Inland Revenue in the UK or basically a letter from my accountant, or paperwork that shows I already pay taxes in the UK.

Why all the BS!?
Yeah, these things should really be automatic. If one has their address in the UK. SS should be able to do it for them. But then, bureaucracy never made sense anyway....

« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2009, 20:25 »
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It's interesting to see the people who were bashing the smaller Micro sites the other day now considering leaving the big old SS...

How things can change in a heart beat. Guess there is no good Micro agency after all...???

« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2009, 20:46 »
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I got the mail too. I need to go to Paris or Frankfurt to get my paperwork certified, as Belgian citizen but living in the Philippines. No thanks. After many hours shooting, sweating, reducing noise, uploading, paying my internet - this is what you get. I can't do their TIN or whatever Red Tape physically. So my earnings on SS wil go down from 0.33$ to 0.22$ by legal theft. If they go through with this, I'll cancel my account too. Since I didn't upload to SS since last March, my monthly income there went down by 2/3 and I'm roughly at the same income as 2-3 years ago with half my port now. Sad to say, I'd better flip hamburgers or go on with commissioned.

« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2009, 20:56 »
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I got the mail too. I need to go to Paris or Frankfurt to get my paperwork certified, as Belgian citizen but living in the Philippines. No thanks. After many hours shooting, sweating, reducing noise, uploading, paying my internet - this is what you get. I can't do their TIN or whatever Red Tape physically. So my earnings on SS wil go down from 0.33$ to 0.22$ by legal theft. If they go through with this, I'll cancel my account too. Since I didn't upload to SS since last March, my monthly income there went down by 2/3 and I'm roughly at the same income as 2-3 years ago with half my port now. Sad to say, I'd better flip hamburgers or go on with commissioned.
Flemmish, can't you notarize copies of your document in the Philippines? They just need to verify that the copy matches the original. It doesn't mater in which language it is.


« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2009, 21:32 »
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I got the email too.  It would stand to reason then that other US based agencies should have the same requirements since it's US tax law.  According to the email I got from Shutterstock, the June payout won't be affected by this but subsequent payouts will. 
Myself being Canadian and since IS is Canadian as well, it may be time to go exclusive with IS or else just drop SS.
Incidentally, which of the other big Microstock agencies are also based in the US?

« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2009, 21:42 »
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Notarized copies... Funny how different countries work.  I have a bank account in UK and, as a non-UK resident, I was able to apply not to pay taxes on investments. All I had to do was fill in a form, sign that I was telling the truth, etc, etc.  I guess the fact that my address was not in UK also counted, but then this is not much for a proof.

Geez, what other sites are based in USA?  I hope that doesn't happen in FT, although my account is in FT US (not of my choice).  I'm not in SS, so I haven't been affected... yet!

Also , if we, that provide free images to SS , (cause we are not payed for the upload) have to pay taxes to US where SS is based , with same logic SS would have to pay part of its income that came from our images to our governments the same way as we do ?

SS pays their taxes in USA, where they operate. The fact that many buyers and members are from other countries is irrelevant, they are not operating in these countries directly.  It is the buyer who accesses a US website, he is purchasing abroad.  

« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2009, 21:44 »
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DT has its address in the US although they also have another address in Romania.
123rf has its addres in the US too, together with other addresses in the UK, Australia, China and Hong Kong.

I wonder if having offices in other countries will exempt them from these IRS requirements. The answer to the whole problem would be: SS needs to move! :)

« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2009, 21:51 »
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Notarized copies... Funny how different countries work.  
It's actually pretty simple here. Notary offices are everywhere and they do it for $10.

« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2009, 22:28 »
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Notarized copies... Funny how different countries work.  I have a bank account in UK and, as a non-UK resident, I was able to apply not to pay taxes on investments. All I had to do was fill in a form, sign that I was telling the truth, etc, etc.  I guess the fact that my address was not in UK also counted, but then this is not much for a proof.

Geez, what other sites are based in USA?  I hope that doesn't happen in FT, although my account is in FT US (not of my choice).  I'm not in SS, so I haven't been affected... yet!

Also , if we, that provide free images to SS , (cause we are not payed for the upload) have to pay taxes to US where SS is based , with same logic SS would have to pay part of its income that came from our images to our governments the same way as we do ?

SS pays their taxes in USA, where they operate. The fact that many buyers and members are from other countries is irrelevant, they are not operating in these countries directly.  It is the buyer who accesses a US website, he is purchasing abroad.  





SS is US based and we are not , so "our income" can be legally treated by US government only as "SS expenses" cause in this story only SS and US contributors are under their jurisdiction and rest of us are certainly not.

We can have legal obligations only to our governments ,and I see no reason why should we provide anything.If we don't pay our taxes we will legally answer to our government.

If a American seller wants to sell a shirt manufactured in China  , he will pay the Chinese manufacturer , import the shirt and sell it on US ground to whoever.

US can charge him the import tax , income tax , whatever , but they have nothing to do with that manufacturer in China , for his income he is responsible only to China laws, and does not have to provide nothing to US , especially not to pay US any taxes on his income.



« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2009, 22:32 »
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SS, not the photographer, is the seller - that's why we receive a commission.

« Reply #48 on: May 27, 2009, 22:48 »
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SS, not the photographer, is the seller - that's why we receive a commission.

Exactly ,  I'm a manufacturer from my example above , I'm not selling anything in US , SS is US seller , so what do I have to do with US , I'm not manufacturing there,
I'm not selling there, and I haven't set my foot on US ground  ?

The can treat my income only as SS expenses

« Reply #49 on: May 28, 2009, 00:11 »
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Exactly ,  I'm a manufacturer from my example above , I'm not selling anything in US , SS is US seller , so what do I have to do with US , I'm not manufacturing there,
I'm not selling there, and I haven't set my foot on US ground  ?
I hate to be the devils advocate here, but as you say, you are not selling the images, SS is. You are receiving royalty income from a US source.

I have some Brazilian company stocks and when they pay dividends, I pay taxes to Brazil. I used to have stocks of Nokia and I similarly had to pay taxes to Finland. The concept is not new. I really think SS should seriously consider moving somewhere else if they want to remain competitive.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 00:14 by goldenangel »


 

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