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How to submit your IRS W-7 for non USA citizens - Amazon, Apple etc

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by Evostance, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Evostance

    Evostance Junior Member

    Feb 26, 2015
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    If you're using the USA Amazon Affiliate scheme, writing books for Kindle or Apple App Store then you're going to need the information below.

    Sometime last year I believe, the USA changed their tax information so that anyone outside of the USA without an ITIN automatically gets hit with 30% tax. In some cases, the with-holding body simply won't accept you without an ITIN as they cannot be bothered to do the tax submission on your behalf. Apple, I'm looking at you.

    This guide should hopefully clear up how to go about obtaining a US ITIN from the IRS, so that you can get 100% of the revenue instead of 70%.

    Disclaimer: I am not in the legal side of this at all, so information below may be incorrect. This is provided as an intent to give some guidance and is not legal advice. If you want legal advice, I would suggest going elsewhere.

    Step One

    You're going to want to obtain a copy of the W-7 form, which is the application form for an IRIS ITIN for non US citizens. You can download this form from here:

    Direct Link to W-7 form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf
    Direct Link to W-7 Information form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw7.pdf

    Step Two

    My advise here is to read the information guide. For me though, I need to ticket box a - "Nonresident alien required to get ITIN to claim tax treaty benefit".
    If you read the information form, you will also see that as I ticked box a, I also need to tick box h and enter the appropriate designation for Exception 1 or 2.

    Step Three

    If you read the exceptions table in the information form, you will see that Exception 1d is the correct exception to choose, as we are receiving distributions for the current tax year from the withholding agent (Amazon, Apple etc)

    If you look at the documentation required, it shows that you need to get a signed letter from the withholding agent showing your name and verifying you need an ITIN number.

    Step Four

    Contact the withholding agent and ask them to post you a form. Yes, POST, not email. They know what it's about, just ask them to talk to their tax department if they're confused

    Step Five

    Now you need to get a copy of an official document to prove you are who you say you are. Use your passport, it's less hassle, however do not send the original document if you don't want it back for a while. Instead you need to get it photocopied by a certified authority.
    I'm not sure what they are called in every country, but it's someone who is approved by the government to verify that the copy of the official document is a true representation of the original.

    Step Six

    Once you've you got the letter from the agent, your W-7 form filled out and your certified document signed. Send them to the IRS using the information on the form. Make sure you send this recorded delivery so you know it got there OK.

    Step Seven

    Wait up to 8 weeks for your ITIN number from the IRS. Then give this ITIN number to the withholding agent to claim 100% of your revenue. Just don't forget that you're supposed to register for tax in your own country, and make a deduction!

    Step Eight

    Once you have submitted your ITIN. You will then be required to submit a W-8 form to the Payer (Amazon, Apple etc) I haven't got this far yet, so can't advise just yet! Feel free to contribute.
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    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  2. Panther28

    Panther28 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    May 2, 2010
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    Home Page:
    Superb outline, cheers
  3. tb303

    tb303 Senior Member

    Dec 18, 2011
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    quick question. i seem to remember filling out a W8BEN via the amazon affiliates page when it popped up.
    So I should also do a W7 as above?
  4. Evostance

    Evostance Junior Member

    Feb 26, 2015
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    I've done about 5 minutes of research on the W-8 form as I haven't got that far at the moment.

    Looking at it, you need to fill out a W-8 form and submit that to Amazon.

    W-7 to the IRS
    W-8 to the Payer