Getting a US Tax Number for NZ Self Published Authors


The set up at Amazon to self-publish is fantastic, and much easier than I thought it would be. My first book – The Uncooperative Flying Carpet is now available to pre-order, and because it was my first, everything took ages as I worked it out. However, I made life more difficult for myself than I needed to. At first, I thought I needed an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) which apparently takes months to process. Unless you have circumstances where you need to do that, then don’t. This will result in you paying 30% withholding tax in the States before you even see any royalties. Then I thought I needed an EIN (Employee Identification Number) which was far easier. I completed an SS-4, rang the IRS in the States on 0012679411099 and waited for 25 minutes. A very helpful lady took my details, recorded the fact that I would be completing a W-8BEN (another very straightforward form), and gave me my EIN over the phone. Fantastic. Then, I completed the payee information on Amazon and thanks to recent updates, only needed to give them my NZ tax number! So, the moral is, you don’t need to do anything that I did, just use your NZ tax number and you’ll only have to pay 5% withholding tax on your royalties, yay. I have left in all information on getting an EIN because you may choose to merchandise from the US, like I have on CaféPress, and you need it then. Now all I have to do is wait for the royalties to come rolling in 😉