Today i got the contract for book deal from APress. In order to get my royalties and don’t have them taxed twice (one by the US gov. and once by the Austrian Gov.). This is governed by so called income tax treaties between the US and foreign countries like Austria. I had to go on a hunt of forms and articles. To make a (very) long story short here’s what you do if you are not a US citizen and sign a deal with a US publisher:
- Get form W7 from the IRS. This form is issued so that the IRS hands you a so called ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number).
- Go to the IRS homepage and find the income tax treaty between the US and your respective country. Scan the treaty for an article on royalties. In my case (Austria) this was article 12
- Check the box labeled a) in the W7 form and fill out the rest of the form accordingly (name, address).
- Check the box labeled h) in the W7 form and fill in “Exception #2”
- In the “additional information for a) and f)” fields specify your country and the article number
- Now put that filled out and signed form in an envelop along with a copy of your driver’s license or passport as well as a copy of the signed contract with the publisher and send it to the IRS (the address can be found in the instruction section of the W7 form
- Wait for the IRS to send you your ITIN which should take between 4 and 6 weeks
- Having received your ITIN go search for the W8BEN form.
- Fill it out according to the instructions and specify your ITIN
- Send the W8BEN form to your publisher!
- Write the freakin book
Note: IANAL, so take that with a grain of salt. You might search for the terms “W8BEN W7” on google to find the MIT Press page describing the process. With my luck i of course only found this page AFTER i solved this puzzle myself….