Government Shut Down Causes EIN Woes

New FlashGetting your Employer Identification Number (EIN) may be a little difficult at the moment. Two individuals who have tried and failed to get through using the telephone number have contacted me to share this information. Lines are tied up; they can’t get through; they are told by a recording to try again.

What is an EIN you ask? It’s an identification number that gives Canadians the ability to claim 100% of their royalties when a company in the United States distributes an eBook or printed book by a Canadian company. For example, if you are a self-published author and you sell your books through Smashwords, Kindle or CreateSpace, you need an EIN or you lose 30% of your earnings to the American tax man.

You can read more about this in my post Canadians, Stop Paying 30% to the IRS.

The phone number in my post is correct. The problem is with the government shut down that happened earlier this week. People knew this was coming, so the lines got tied up before the actual shut down occurred. Now that all non-essential employees to the US government are temporarily laid off, there’s little chance this grid lock is going to come undone any time soon.

It may be best to wait until the US government sorts out this mess before attempted to get an EIN.

NS Life Near Water Stack

10 thoughts on “Government Shut Down Causes EIN Woes

  1. Great share Diane! Whew, am I glad I got my number 2 months ago, I grew up on the motto….’don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today’. What an awful predicament for others. Oh, I have started reading your beautiful book, I love the story of the dying man 🙂 Please come visit at my new site as I am no longer here, although WP has locked me out and my web guy is trying to put a redirect on the page, thus, I cannot receive comments 😦


    • Hi Debby, your new site is beautiful. I love the colour.

      Yes, putting things off sometimes gives more headaches than we expect. Writers can still self-publish, but it’s nice to have the paperwork (like getting the EIN to distributors) before you get your first payment.

      Thank you for the kind words. “The Man Who Reads Obituaries” gave me the opportunity to think about life and death and regrets. I’ve often played the game of Heaven and Hell when reading obituaries. And I often thought about sending people to a better place then either of them. How boring Heaven must be if it is like they portray in movies. Some people deserve a better ‘after life’ place.


      • Thanks Diane for coming over to my site and your lovely feedback. I agree with you on Heaven. As I am always reading 2 books at once and working on editor’s revisions and getting my book ready for publication in November, you can well imagine the shortage of hours which cuts into my reading time. But when I finish your book, I shall be happy to leave you a review. 🙂


        • OH, I understand busy reading. I’ve got about seven books I need to get read in the next few months. And then there is editing one and writing another. Some days I feel like I’m going to wear out my eyes. lol.

          I look forward to reading your review. Thank you.


          • Omg, I can tell you I’ve been in editor’s revisions for over a week and surfing net all night long from publications I follow and research, I can tell you I thought I was going blind at one point, then when I get into bed after midnight, my husband wakes up when I turn on my kindle to read yet again, that is the stolen hour when I get to read what I want to read! 🙂


    • Do you mean ITIN? That’s the Individual Tax Identification Number. The main difference is that you have to jump through hoops, paint your toenails green, have your mother, your brother, your clergy and a friendly police officer sign it and wait weeks to get it.

      Actually I’m just playing there. But when I looked into getting an ITIN, there seemed to be a lot more paperwork, and I needed an official signature. I believe I also had to provide some sort of official documents (such as a birth certificate). It’s not impossible to get, but if you are self-publishing, you’re running a business, so you are entitled to getting the EIN instead, which is way more easier.

      I’m not experienced to know the exact difference when it comes to the countries’ taxes. As long as you claim the income from these places (such as Smashword, Kindle and CreateSpace) on your Canadian taxes, you are fine. That’s what they want to make sure you do. The US holds that 30% to ensure you are paying enough taxes on your royalties. Getting a number to exempt you from that means you promise to claim royalties on your Canadian income tax.

      The bottom line is: the government wants what they believe they deserve in all income you make.


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