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Author Topic: Class action lawsuit against Storyblocks (tax withholding)  (Read 2601 times)

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« on: July 17, 2018, 19:38 »
+3
I've spoken to my lawyer about the fact that SB withholds the tax for every sale, not just US-based ones. He has checked out how other agencies and marketplaces work in that regard, noting that what they are doing might constitute illegal activity, and that a class action lawsuit might be possible against them.

If you're interested in contributing and are a contributor from a country affected by this, please send an email to me at newbielink:mailto:mediasignup@protonmail.com [nonactive] as we'll need to organize ourselves in the event that we decide to go through with the lawsuit.

Thanks,
Serge


SpaceStockFootage

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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2018, 22:03 »
0
Have you written to Storyblocks for clarification on why they're withholding tax for every sale?

« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2018, 00:34 »
0
... I was talking about this for a while... and SB answer was like that they know what they are doing... only they collect 30%(in my case) for every sale...

« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2018, 23:02 »
0
serge,

many western nations have tax treaties that allow one country, such as the US, to tax you even if you live in another country.

if your nation doesn't have such a tax treaty with the US, then you have to pay the tax. if your country does have a tax treaty, you have to present a certificate of residency to videoblocks to avoid the tax.

if you look at the list of nations that have such a tax treaty, it is going to cover just about every modern country, including most of europe, australia, etc.

You need to have a "certificate of residency" to prove which country you are paying taxes in, and present it to videoblocks, if you want to avoid having taxes withheld. for example if you look at IRS form 8802, you can see on the last page a list of countries which have a tax treaty with the US for withholding taxes.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2018, 04:09 »
0
serge,

many western nations have tax treaties that allow one country, such as the US, to tax you even if you live in another country.

if your nation doesn't have such a tax treaty with the US, then you have to pay the tax. if your country does have a tax treaty, you have to present a certificate of residency to videoblocks to avoid the tax.

if you look at the list of nations that have such a tax treaty, it is going to cover just about every modern country, including most of europe, australia, etc.

You need to have a "certificate of residency" to prove which country you are paying taxes in, and present it to videoblocks, if you want to avoid having taxes withheld. for example if you look at IRS form 8802, you can see on the last page a list of countries which have a tax treaty with the US for withholding taxes.

He knows that. His issue is that they're withholding tax for all sales, when (in theory) US withholding tax should only be taken from sales to US buyers.

And while we're at it, although presenting a certificate of residency is a sure-fire way to prove your country of residence for tax purposes... most agencies don't require you to do so. Filling in a W8 form is usually sufficient, I've never had to present a certificate of residency. 
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 04:30 by SpaceStockFootage »

« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 07:39 »
+1
serge,

many western nations have tax treaties that allow one country, such as the US, to tax you even if you live in another country.

if your nation doesn't have such a tax treaty with the US, then you have to pay the tax. if your country does have a tax treaty, you have to present a certificate of residency to videoblocks to avoid the tax.

if you look at the list of nations that have such a tax treaty, it is going to cover just about every modern country, including most of europe, australia, etc.

You need to have a "certificate of residency" to prove which country you are paying taxes in, and present it to videoblocks, if you want to avoid having taxes withheld. for example if you look at IRS form 8802, you can see on the last page a list of countries which have a tax treaty with the US for withholding taxes.

Once again unonimus strikes with his legal fallacies. Misses the bullseye, misses the target, misses the barn door.

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2018, 07:45 »
0
I've never even heard of a "certificate of residency" before this minute

« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2018, 07:59 »
0
serge,

many western nations have tax treaties that allow one country, such as the US, to tax you even if you live in another country.

if your nation doesn't have such a tax treaty with the US, then you have to pay the tax. if your country does have a tax treaty, you have to present a certificate of residency to videoblocks to avoid the tax.

if you look at the list of nations that have such a tax treaty, it is going to cover just about every modern country, including most of europe, australia, etc.

You need to have a "certificate of residency" to prove which country you are paying taxes in, and present it to videoblocks, if you want to avoid having taxes withheld. for example if you look at IRS form 8802, you can see on the last page a list of countries which have a tax treaty with the US for withholding taxes.

For European citizens the required document is called w-8ben

ShadySue

« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2018, 09:44 »
0
Quote
For European citizens the required document is called w-8ben
That's the one.  Then we have to provide our UTR (unique tax reference), though there's another name for this.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 12:54 by ShadySue »

« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2018, 10:50 »
0
What is this about? Aren't storyblocks a US company?
They are the ones paying you, not their customers. If you are in a country without a tax treaty (or don't fill out your W8) they will be taking the tax, like every other US agency, or am I missing something?

« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2018, 11:11 »
+1
They should only withhold tax for sales made to US customers, not to sales made to non-US customers. That's what IS, SS, DT etc. do. There's a big difference.

« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2018, 11:51 »
+1
Yes, Baldricks Trousers  - exactly that.

I have contacted VB/SB about this issue as I live in a non treaty country and SB charges me 30% witholdings on ALL sales.

I have advised  them the following (initially 2 years ago and again last week):-

1) The IRS guidelines state that royalty payments are subject to 30% withholding if they originate from a US source (and no tax treaty exists).  All sales from entities outside the USA should be treated as foreign source and NOT subject to witholdings.
2) I also advised them that Shutterstock/Adobe/Deposit Photos adhere to this way of processing withholdings.

I was told on both occasions that their Tax Team would be informed, and "the team is audited by a top firm to make sure we are following within guidelines. We want to operate being as helpful as we can to contributors and will do everything we can to improve every area of the experience. However, financial and tax operations are more defined, despite how other companies may approach them, so this is an area which may not be as flexible."

The open ticket was then closed and nothing more was done.

As we do not receive any details on the sales, we have no idea how much witholding is valid and how much could be potentially challenged (sales outside US), so I don't if this would be worth doing.




 

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