The Most Exciting Blog Post in Human History!!!!!!

May 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm (Uncategorized)

Just a quick hint for anyone who, like me, is publishing with Createspace but living outside the US.
Since Createspace is a US company, the IRS will tax you on your royalties, forcing Createspace to withhold 30% of your earnings. You can get around this if your country has a tax treaty with the US. Different countries have negotiated different rates; here are the examples Createspace gives:
• Canada: 0%
• Australia: 10%
• UK: 0%
• Japan: 10%
• India: 15%
(Note Canada’s 0% deal; once again, I’m grateful to live here!)
Getting this rate, however, is not so easy. Createspace outlines the steps on their website (, but I’ll paraphrase:
First, you have to get a Taxpayer Identification (TIN) Number from the IRS. You get this by filling in Form W-7 from the IRS website, then sending it off to them, along with notarised copies of identification, such as a passport. In something like 6-8 weeks, assuming you filled in the form correctly and included a letter from Createspace, also provided on the website, you’ll get your TIN. Once you have that, you can fill out form W-8BEN, mail that to Createspace, and you’ll get the tax rate that applies to your country of residence. If that sounds like a lot of hassle, it’s only because it is.

The shortcut

There’s a quicker way through this. As well as a TIN, Createspace will also accept an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can get one of these by calling the IRS at 1-267-941-1099. They’ll ask you a couple of questions, such as the name and nature of your business (you can use your own name as the name of the business), and you’ll get an EIN over the phone in five minutes. Then you fill out and send off your W-8BEN to Createspace, as above.
Not the most thrilling blog post in history, I’ll grant you. But it’s good information to know, and something I wish I’d known about eight weeks ago.

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