Wednesday, October 24, 2012


public domain

I admit it, I went the easy and cost effective route to obtain my EIN (as opposed to ITIN) and rang the IRS to obtain it. 

It was a matter of a five minute phone call (I rang later at night for time differences) and the number was given to me over the phone. SO EASY. Too easy???

For months afterward I dilly dallied thinking I'd done the wrong thing and would indeed need to go through all the rigamarole anyway of filling out all the extra forms and sending away my passport etc etc. Yes, I'd heard on the grapevine the ITIN is the only way to go.

Well I bit the bullet and rang the IRS last night who then  put me through to their lovely and very informed sounding tax guy, who said that's not true. I DON'T need both and in fact the EIN is  preferred and, in his words, is a lot less convoluted than obtaining an ITIN. As long as they get their  5% from the tax treaty, they're happy. The only reason anyone would need to do a yearly tax return is if the publisher doesn't accept the W8 forms.

So...the EIN (Employer Identification Number) seems to be the way to go... BUT please don't take my word for it, I take no responsibility for misinformation!! When you ring the number below ASK the relevant questions and double check. Things might well change.

So how do you obtain an EIN? Here's the number of the IRS if ringing from Australia:


As I said it literally took my five minutes to obtain that tax file number, then I had it immediately to send off my W8 forms to my publishers and Smashwords etc. No waiting for months, no precious money *g* sucked down the drainpipe, aside from the cost of an o'seas call.

Has anyone else in Australia gone this route and had no/any trouble? I'd love to hear =)

*NOTE - Ask your publisher first if they will accept an EIN as one author stated their publisher only accepted an ITIN - it appears that some will and some won't.


Jenny Addicoat said...

Intereseting Mel.
So does that mean you are employing yourself? (as the E in EIN stand for Employer)

Anonymous said...

Hi Mel,
What a precious champ you are.
I have been watching and sympathizing with many writers, on several loops, over the years about their heart rendering stories with getting the ITIN etc. And it all but left me not wanting to sell a thing out of Australian shores. LOL
This has heartened my outlook and will definitely look into it.
:) thanks so much for sharing your journey :)

Mel Teshco said...

Hi Jenny!

I just answered your email lol - but yes, I come under self employed. I write for different publishers and have dabbled in self publishing.

Mel Teshco said...

No problem at all Maryde, it is a very interesting journey, put it that way =))

Suzi said...

Very interesting info. Maybe I'll try it this way too.
I keep dilly-dallying about it as i'm sooo scared of doing the wrong thing.
Suzi Love

Rhyll Biest said...

Sounds good, I've been too afraid to do the ITIN thing, this sounds way easier. Thanks for posting.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Mel,
Although I haven't had to use it at present as the e press company I have published with has never asked for it. Although I did look into it and finding a Notary within my area seemed to be a pain, plus filling out the right forms. When the time arrives I need an identification number I'll be giving them a call.

Thanks for the number I will store it away. Btw, what time at night did you ring? :)

Mel Teshco said...

Hi Suz,

it is a royal pain! I rang at around 10pm from memory =)

Just BTW my publishers have accepted an EIN with no troubles, but just found out another writer's publisher wouldn't accept one. I'd ask your publisher first.

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