IMPORTANT NOTE: As of January 1, 2015, the US tax requirements have changed. Non-US authors are no longer required to have a US ITIN to claim tax treaty benefits on royalty income if you have a tax ID number in your country of residence. You still must fill out a W-8BEN including providing your country’s tax ID number and claim the tax treaty benefits in Part II.
Applying for an ITIN
The form that you are filling out is a W-7.
First let me state that I am not authorized to speak for the IRS, but from the authors that have successfully applied for an ITIN, I have compiled the following information to help you start.
You need to complete the form and then send it with a letter from your publisher explaining that you will be receiving income and notarized copies of identification documents.
So first the form.
The first section is why you need an ITIN. Unless one of the other options applies to you, the reason is A – Nonresident alien required to get ITIN to claim tax treaty benefit. On the last line of that section (h), you will fill in “exception 1(d) royalties”, treaty country as [fill in your country here] and the article number as Article [fill in the tax treaty number here]. The tax treaty number for your country can be found on this website or with a Google search. The tax treaties come up in PDF format. You can use ctrl-z and type in “royalties” to scan for relevant sections.
The next section is information on you.
On other information, you will list your citizenship, Tax number for your country and leave 6c blank since this doesn’t require a visa.
For 6d – if you have a passport, that is all you have to have. You can make a color copy of it and have it notarized. If you are in a city that has a US Embassy, they will notarize your copy for free.
If you don’t have a passport, you have to send two documents. One to establish identity and one to establish citizenship. For identity you can use a driver’s license, military or national ID. For citizenship you can use a voter’s registration card or birth certificate. These documents have to be notarized as well since you don’t want to send the originals.
***as a note, your name has to match the documents. If you were married recently or anything else that makes the names different, you will have to send the marriage or name change certificate as well.***
In 6d you will check either passport or Driver’s License and Other – filling in the type of document you are sending. If you have a passport fill in Issued by, No. and Exp date. Leave the Entry date to the US blank.
6e check No
6g – Dreamspinner Press LLC, Tallahassee, Florida Length of stay is NA.
Sign the form. Send the form, a notarized color copy of your passport and a copy of the letter attached to the address in the instructions. Keep copies of everything you send.
After you have your ITIN, you can fill out the W-8BEN.
This post was intended as a helping hand for Dreamspinner Press authors. It is not intended to replace official or profession tax advice. Other publishers and companies may have different requirements, and you should always look to the US Internal Revenue Service
and your countries tax agencies for definitive instructions and answers.