|public domain pictures.net|
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.