It pays to read the fine print

I was gutted to receive this from the IRS after waiting nearly three months. Rejected. Apparently I had ticked the wrong box on the form and needed to identify the correct ‘exemption’ code.  I was applying for the ITIN number (using form W-7) so that I could   set up my Smashwords account. The Smashwords account will be my online distribution store for the e-book version of my book. Because Smashwords is an American website, and any revenue from my e-book will flow through it, it’s subject to US tax laws. The Smashwords site required me to complete the online WBEN-8 form. Because it’s an online form, the fields turn green if the information meets requirements, or red if not. One of the fields on that form was for an ITIN number…or so I thought! Upon receipt of this rejection letter I read the fine print very carefully. I seemed to fall into Exemption category 1(d) “Individuals who are receiving distributions during the current tax year of income such as…royalties…and are required to provide an ITIN to the withholding agent…” The supporting documentation I required was “A signed letter or document from the withholding agent, on official letterhead…etc” So I went back to the Smashwords site to find out how to get the required letter. Again, I took the time to properly read the instructions. I discovered that I need either an ITIN or my NZ tax number. So all along, I had not needed to apply for an ITIN, but rather only enter my NZ tax number! Grr. All that faffing around and waiting for nothing. I have now duly entered my NZ tax number and the online form has been accepted.

Hurrah! It does indeed pay to read the fine print. Purchase MedarIMG_4228.JPG

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