Update on Canada Tax Information with the United States

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Shadows in the Stone

Something amazing happened during my seven-month hiatus away from writing: the tax worries and hassles that plagued writing entrepreneurs in Canada had eased. In fact, it’s so darn easy now that no one—absolutely no one—has an excuse for not completing the tax form to prevent the IRS from claiming 30% of your royalties from your books.

More than a month ago, CreateSpace sent a message to update my tax information. I meant to take care of it, but like many things since March, it got lost in the chaos of life. The deadline came and went, but fortunately CreateSpace—who really wants my business—extended the deadline.

If I didn’t update my tax information, I would no longer be able to sell through CreateSpace. They certainly didn’t want that to happen, so a grace period of thirty days was awarded. This time I took advantage of the notice and stayed up late one night to see what the fuss was all about.

The questions were straight forward and easy to answer: Was I a US citizen? Did I have a business in the US? Etc.

Then came the question regarding tax identity. I believed I could quote my EIN (Employer Identification Number) and be done with the form, but…I had to read the question and instructions a few times before I got the plain truth staring at me from the computer screen:

Enter your income tax identification number issued by your local tax authority for income tax purposes.

In everyday language in Canada that translates to: Enter your Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Tax Changes with CreateSpace 2014

Every Canadian citizen needs one of these to work in this country, so they are as common as a bank account number, as a house number.

In other words: Canadians who possess a SIN no longer need to worry about an EIN or an ITIN unless they have extenuating circumstances.

Once your SIN is entered, you are delivered to an electronic W-8BEN to review with the information you provided. There is a section at the beginning which provides more information on which form to fill out if you do not meet the requirements for the W-8BEN.

Tax Changes with CreateSpace 2014 W-8BEN

If everything is correct, then you move to the next section: Consent and Signing.

You must then check either “I consent to electronic receipt of my information reporting documentation”, or “No, mail the documents to me” instead.


If you found this information helpful, please consider buying me a cup of tea ($1.50) as if we had chatted at a cafe and I shared this with you. [Payment is through PayPal.]


Then you have to consent to providing an electronic signature. Or you could have the documents mailed to you to sign.

After reviewing the agreement you’ve signed and answering a few simple questions to confirm your answers, you’re done the tax interview.

After the electronic form is submitted, you have the option of printing it for your records. I recommend you do this in case something ‘gets lost’ or you need to refer to it in the future.

***

The original post with regard to EIN and ITIN is here: Canadians, Stop Paying 30% to the IRS

Regarding Questions: I receive many questions about EIN and tax information both in the comments below and in my inbox. I do my best to answer in a timely fashion and to the best of my ability, but I am not a tax expert, I don’t know all the answers and my time is limited. I earn a living as a writer, so if information I have provided here or by answering a question proves valuable to you to either save money or make money, please consider buying me a cup of tea. It costs only $1.50 Canadian and $1.09 US (exchange rate May 5, 2017). Thank you.

 

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98 thoughts on “Update on Canada Tax Information with the United States

  1. HI Diane,

    Are you familiar with how the tax exemption works for Ingram Spark? I know about the CS thing, but I don’t see anywhere that you did anything with your Smashwords account – do I still need an exemption for other PODs than Createspace?

    Any advice is well appreciated. I want to try to get my physical book on Chapters Indigo online.

    • I am not familiar with the tax exemption process with Ingram Spark because I have yet to get a book printed by them. When I do in the coming years, I will make a post about that.

      I can assume they work similar to CreateSpace in the fact that they are an US-based printer / distributor and would need a form completed. That would be the W-8BEN form or the simple online questionnaire. But as they say, assuming is the first mistake.

      For Smashwords, I initiated the process many years ago, and when they updated their procedures about three years ago, I completed the survey they gave me. To see Tax Information, go to your Account, then scroll towards the bottom where it says Tax Documents. You’ll learn more there.

      For every company you deal with in the US, and Kindle and CreateSpace are treated as separate companies though they are both owned by Amazon, you must complete some type of form or survey.

  2. […] It takes only a few minutes to obtain an EIN and a few more to complete the forms to send to distributing outlets, so I highly advice you to set aside time to do this. You can read all about it in my Canadians, Stop Paying 30% to the IRS post. UPDATE (November 2014): Canadians no longer need an EIN to claim the 30%. Read: Update on Canada Tax Information with the United States. […]

  3. Hi Diane,
    I am not sure what happened, but I submitted a question in this window this morning, and later saw it among the other entries on this page regarding your update on US tax withholding. Then after a few hours, when I was checking back, it had disappeared. Was there a reason? Should I re-send my question?

  4. Hi Diane,
    What a generous service you have provided. Everything you have explained is clear, and I understand how to properly avoid the 30% US withholding tax as a self-published author, but since I incorporated a publishing company in Canada that was identified when I applied for my ISBN (which I received), am I able to fill in a form that will ensure any royalties are paid without withholding to this company, or should I distance myself from the company and apply strictly as an author-person for the non-withholding status using my S.I.N.? Also, if I do this, do I have to change the information regarding my publishing company that I originally provided Library and Archives Canada in order to receive my ISBN? Thank you.

    • Hello Gordon, I’m unsure. I am not an incorporated company, so I’m not sure how the tax situation works for you. I am by no means a tax expert. I only know what I can do in my situation. Many self-published are in similar circumstances, so it applies to the majority of us.

      Did you set up an incorporated company only to sell your books? That was unnecessary. You can easily sell under your name or you could create a sole proprietor business like I did at Quarter Castle Publishing.

      If you make the company change, you wouldn’t necessarily have to change it at LAC. But I’m not sure. You’d have to ask someone who is doing what you want to do. I’m sorry I can’t help further.

  5. I have on more urgent question, thanks for all your help. I notice its asking me for LOB for the “tax interview”….which one do I select?

    there’s a bunch of options:

    erosion test

    derivative

    I’m guessing I put “other tax exemption ”

    Thanks in advance for your response.

  6. Hi Diane,

    Thanks for being a wealth of information. You’ve been a huge help!.. I’m aware you wrote this article sometime ago and things have changed. Now after watching a video for a walk through for the tax interview for signing up with KDP, I noticed all the person did was give his SIN # and sign up his corporation. – that’s all!

    Now I’m precisely in the same circumstance as him, 1 I am a Canadian citizen residing in Ontario, 2 I have a corporation, so in theory I can just follow the exact same steps? – Meaning just use my SIN # as my “foreign tax identification” #? There is no need for me to call them for an EIN OR TIN.

    Please advise.

    I’m a little confused, could you be kind enough to clarify?

    Best Regards,

    • Hello, yes, you can just enter your SIN now. That’s what this update was all about (I noted it in bold orange letters: Canadians who possess a SIN no longer need to worry about an EIN or an ITIN unless they have extenuating circumstances.).

      The original article, which I made note of at the bottom of the article–was about how to get an EIN. While some individuals still might need to do that, many of us can just enter the SIN during the ‘tax interview/survey’

      Thanks for visiting my site.

  7. Hi Diane, can you please tell me if you’ve sold books through IngramSpark? I just set up a new account there but my question pertains to the tax form you’d upload as a Canadian. I didn’t see W-8BEN on the drop down. It was so easy with my Createspace account, just can’t figure it out with IngramSpark. Advice would be appreciated, thanks! Cheryl.

    • Hello Cheryl,

      I have not sold books through IngramSpark yet. But I believe within the next two years, I will take that leap. I set up an account last month, and I didn’t see the tax question.

      I just went on the site, and the “Claiming Tax Exception” page refers to (if I’m reading this correctly) exempting your book for sales tax, not exempting the 30% because of the Canada-US treaty. It states, “those customers who do not want to be charged sales tax on their purchases.” If you click “Yes” and go to the reasons why you are exempting, it does not provide the treaty option. Instead it has non-profit groups, resale items and items published by the government.

      I clicked through the other options to set up an account, but I did not see where they requested foreign tax exempts. This is something I’ll explore further when I print a book through them.

      Since the answer isn’t obvious, perhaps a short email message to Ingram Spark asking them about this will clarify the situation. I can only assume they would need the tax information.

      • That makes perfect sense! Thank you Diane. Don’t know why I didn’t see that it was the sales tax exempt status not the treaty I was looking at. Appreciate your website as a valuable resource. Thanks again, Cheryl.

        • It took me a few minutes to distinguish between the two as well. As Canadians, we’re looking for that exemption, so the obvious — sales tax exemption — seems too simple.

          Good luck with your book.

  8. Thank you so much! I completed my Amazon “tax interview” in 2013, and never thought anything about it until they recently requested I switch to EFT payments. I saw I was at 30% withholding rate, googled it and voila! Your helpful site came up. Thank you!

    • I can’t answer that. I wrote this post to share what I experienced. I am born in Canada and hold only a Canadian citizenship, so I don’t know how your situation would affect your income taxes.

  9. I appreciate your blogs for Canadian self-publishers – they have been helpful. In addition to following this tax information, there’s getting a EIN, Canadian ISBN and registering my book in the Canada Library and Archives to do as well that makes my head swim. I have my manuscript ready but not sure what do next. What is the best order to do these tasks?

    • Thanks, Marc. You no longer need an EIN if you live in Canada. The SIN replaces it. To learn about the ISBN and CIP, go to my Self-publishing Resources page (https://dianetibert.com/self-publishing/self-publishing-resources/). Under the Business of Publishing section, you’ll learn how to do that.

      There’s a lot of information to digest when you publish your first book. The key thing is not to rush. Don’t feel like it has to be done yesterday. My Publishing 101 (https://dianetibert.com/self-publishing/publishing101/) exercise a few years ago will walk you through the steps. I published a book in 30 days (after it was written and edited at least twice by me). On that page, you’ll find my Production Schedule. It’s what I use as a check list to make sure I do everything that needs to be done.

      You can use the production schedule and tweak it to fit your project.

      Good luck in your publishing adventure.

      • Great advice. I followed the phone in EIN number process and took about 15 minutes, albeit a bit painful due to the bad elevator music while on hold initially. When trying to update my tax information in my brand new CreateSpace account, there wasn’t any place to put the EIN but then I reread your original post and saw the piece about using our Canadian SSN as the tax ID. I entered it in with no dash marks between the numbers and the system populated the WBEN 8 form for my electronic signature. There will now be 0% held at the source. Quick, simple, and painless. Thanks Diane.

  10. I’ve,just,read the above post after reading another of your posts on getting an
    EIN in place of a ITIN. Loved that article and found it ultra helpful. But before I launch into downloading the form for the EIN, I wanted a clarification on the article above. Do you mean to say, no EIN is needed, just filling in the forms above will suffice? And is this for all e-books in the US and all POD too, through Ingram sparks or LuLu? Thanks again!

    • I don’t sell through Ingram Sparks or LuLu, so I’m not sure what they want. However, I sell through CreateSpace, Kindle and Smashwords–all American companies–and they only require my SIN on the form. I would check the tax information out for LuLu and Ingram Spark–the should have it on their page somewhere–and go from there.

      When I updated my tax information for the three places I sell through, my EIN was ‘rejected’ because they wanted my SIN. I entered my SIN and everything went through fine.

  11. Thank you! I almost had a heart attack when I saw only EU and Brits and U S citizens could get direct deposit and all the 30% tax withholding business. Just getting ready to release my first book with Amazon ( Northern Compass……could I resist?). This post was very helpful and I thank you sincerely for it. Isobel in Montreal

  12. Thank you Diane for forwarding me more info regarding the EIN/SIN issue with CreateSpace.. Having read several missives I was excited to think I could finally get my account activated.
    Either someone put an extra shot of rum in my coffee this morning or I haven’t yet learned how to read properly, but there is still no listing for Canada in the Interview. Not the one I read, anyway. Consequently I still can’t move forward with it. It appears there are Canadian writers Out There who claim the procedure is now easier than tying your shoes. I must have a hellofa virus in my computer that has eaten up the appropriate information or I’m reading the wrong page because nothing has changed since I effectively abandoned the idea of trying to get my book on with CreateSpace months ago.
    I attempted to open a new account for my book in hopes something sensible would appear but alas was faced with the same dilemma.
    This is extremely frustrating and I can only assume I pushed the wrong button somewhere. This, bye the bye, is for direct deposit to my Alberta bank account. Any questions I have forwarded to Amazon re this have been answered in bleak, weak, hazy and totally unhelpful replies. I’m starting to entertain the idea of giving Smashwords some thought.
    I would be extremely happy to have a one-on-one with someone in the know.

    • Byron, I’m not sure what your page looks like, so I’m going to take a stab in the dark. On the two forms above, there is no mention of Canada. You simply say no to the question “Are you a US Citizen?”

      It’s been a while since I did this, but from looking at the forms above, there is no where on them where you check you’re Canadian. You simply state you are not a US Citizen and you have a foreign tax number. That’s it. Oh, and note the foreign tax number.

      As for Smashwords, publish your eBooks there too. CreateSpace is only for paperback copies. Amazon is for eBooks. I publish eBooks on Smashwords, Amazon and Kobo.

    • Byron, I started leaving detailed help here last Christmas. I too am Canadian.
      British and Canadian have a zero percent Royalty withholding Treaty with United States/IRS. I know nothing about the Ein..did not use it. New Years I went into 3 American publishers. At that time, Smashwords accepted the form by paper mail, and immediately a pink notice appeared across the whole top of my “PAYEE” PAGE confirming that according to the Treaty with Canada, my Royalty withholding was now set at zero percent.
      Complete the W8BEN with each publisher separately. I created the 3:
      Smashwords (e-book), CreateSpace (paperback) and Kindle Direct Publishing (e-book).
      Immediately, before submitting your book(s),complete the W8BEN with each American “publisher” first.
      Both Amazon companies had an identical W8BEN with electronic signature at the end. Print a copy for your records.
      On-line inside your account you complete the copy of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace. They are identical,but you complete one with each different “company”.
      The #5 asks for an American Social Security Number or THEIR VERSION OF ITIN (which means Individual Tax Identification Number). YOU DON’T EVEN NEED THAT, and both confirm just leave it EMPTY
      # 6 You fill in your Social Insurance Number used in Canada to file income tax. Mine was processed within the day, and they confirmed immediately that my Royalty withholding rate was now zero. Then…you can submit manuscript when ready.

      • As far as I know, there is no need to complete the W-8BEN. I wrote about the original way to avoid taxes being taken by the IRS and completing the W-8BEN here: https://dianetibert.com/2012/06/20/canadians-stop-paying-30-to-the-irs/

        The post is clear with diagrams. Diagrams make it much easier to understand than rambling comments is jagged paragraphs in this comment section. I’ve noted the link to the original post at the end of this post. Anyone looking for further information can go there.

        Nola, I appreciate you leaving comments to guide others, but sometimes what you say makes it more confusing. In this case, you are not answering Byron’s question, but reproducing information already in this post and my other one.

        You’ve already commented several times. I don’t want to sound mean, but this is my post. Please let me address the questions posted here. I can direct them to other posts I’ve made to clarify the information.

        Thank you.

  13. Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been trying to find information on this and it’s just been giving me a headache; your post was very insightful.

    Quick dumb question: if you use your SIN for the IRS portion do you then have to file taxes with the IRS every year after you’ve self-published? Or does that not matter? I have no idea about any of this stuff and would appreciate any answers. Thanks again!

    • I don’t file with the IRS. I claim all royalties generated from companies in the US (ie Smashwords) on my Canadian Tax Form. I don’t live or have a connection with the US (other than selling through Smashwords/Amazon), so I file in Canada only. Others may have different circumstances. But I’m not a tax expert. Logically, I see no reason to file with the IRS. That just means more, unnecessary paperwork. The key is to claim what you make to the Canadian Tax Man if you live here. The government wants a cut of what you make.

  14. Hi Diane, great article. I just want to confirm I have this right before updating my tax info on Amazon KDP. So on the Amazon IRS ‘Interview’ form, I can use my Social Insurance Number where it requests a TIN? And this will drop the withholding tax?

    Cheers

    • Vin, on the Amazon websites for both CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) they have identical forms inside your account. The form is a W8BEN, the only legal form that reduces the US 30% Royalty Withholding to the Canadian Treaty level of zero percent.
      # 5 asks for the American ITIN (INDIVIDUAL TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER).
      #6 IS WHERE YOU PUT YOUR CANADIAN SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER (OUR VERSION OF ITIN)

    • Vin, two more important details. After you fill out the W8BEN, it asks for electronic signature…be sure to also print a paper copy for your records.
      Do not publish until after they confirm they have reduced to zero percent. I phoned CreateSpace and KDP a day or so after and asked them to send me an email confirming it was now zero. When I did the form with Smashwords, a huge sign appeared across my account page confirming Royalty Withholding was set at the Canadian Treaty level of zero percent. If you don’t do the form first, by law, all American Publishers must withhold the 30 % and send it to the IRS.

      • This is my understand of “completing paperwork before publishing”: You can publish first and then do your paperwork, but do the paperwork immediately; don’t wait months. Just because you ‘publish’, it doesn’t mean you have instant sales, and that you get paid right away. If you are publishing on Smashwords, you may upload today, but it may not be active for more than a week–plenty of time to get that paperwork in.

        Even if you make a sale today, complete the paperwork tomorrow, you still don’t get any money until either you get to $100 (CreateSpace) or Amazon and Smashwords make a royalty payment, which could be weeks (or months) away.

        They won’t send 30% of your royalties to the IRS if you get the paperwork in before royalties are paid. It’s not as though they make tallies at every sale or every day.

  15. This has been very enlightening. I have had nothing but headaches since attempting to put my Kindle book out via CreateSpace. It’s the tax thing. I’ve written countless letters but have only received faint ambiguities that make absolutely no sense. I brought this to their attention via email, but as many other writers here agree, got no reply.
    I have decided I’m going to give it two more weeks. If I can’t get on board with CreateSpace because of this tax scenario I have obviously wasted a great deal of my writing time and will abandon the idea totally. Very frustrating that they can’t treat their neighbour and best trading partner better than they do.
    No more query emails from me; I know what to expect. I’m so frustrated with this I don’t even think a large glass of scotch will help. Thank you to the other contributors for the information. Just call me a frustrated Alberta writer.

    • Byron, I can sympathize. The reason I wrote this post was because of the hassle and almost giving up myself when it came to the tax issue. But don’t give up. Don’t let them win. It’s a hurdle, but you can do it. Send me an email (tibert@live.com). I’ll see if I can help you sort it out. I went through it again not long ago because they updated what they wanted.

      You know, I’ve never tried Scotch, but I’ve thought about it. The opportunity never came to me. I know a bottle of Sangria works for me 😉

  16. Hi, Diane,
    Thank you for providing such a great service (timely information on your blog). What do I do if I have an incorporated company in Canada? I want to use CreateSpace and Amazon/Kindle for book and e-book publishing. Does my company still have to get a EIN? Since this is an incorporated company, I assume I cannot use my SIN with CreateSpace and Amazon/Kindle because it is my company receiving the revenue and filling the tax forms (not me). Am I right?
    Thank you and have a great day.
    Justin

  17. This updated information has saved me so much time and money! I had calls into 2 different tax firms – one quoted me $800 to facilitate the W7 form for me! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this info – it saved me! Sue

  18. Thank you so very much for this blog post, and the original EIN one.I was really thinking that 30% of all my money was going to Uncle Sam (although I guess it would have qualified me for foreign income tax credits here in Canada.

    So, does anyone know which article of the treaty we’re invoking? I’m being asked in a form.

    Also, I’m being asked for optional “reference number(s)”. This seems to be related to if you’re a “disregarded entity”, which I’m wondering if we are as Canadians, under the treaty exemption.

  19. Hi,

    I’m wondering what happens to authors, like me, who have chosen to use a publishing firm name, my own that is not registered because it is using my real name (or parts thereof!) and, in Quebec, I needn’t register it until I earn $30,000 and upwards (I wish!). I’, wondering if I’ll be able to use the W-8BEN form as an individual anyway, since there is no legal entity and I have to sign papers with my real name anyway.

    Does anyone have any ideas on this?

    Jade

    • I’m not a tax expert and I don’t know the rules for Quebec. Here in Nova Scotia, you don’t have to register at all if you use your name as the company name. Yes, as far as I know you can use your name as the ‘company name’ if it is your company name. It simply asks for the “Name of the individual or organisation”, so that’s you.

      I don’t believe we have the same rule in Nova Scotia with regard to registering your company when you earn $30,000, but I could be wrong. The only connection I see with that number is with GST. In Nova Scotia, when you start making more than $30,000 in four consecutive quarters (not one year as many think), you have to get a GST number. You may have to be a registered company to get a GST Number. My company doesn’t make that amount–yet–so I’m GST free.

      I hope this helps. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  20. Hey Diane, I just recently changed my CreateSpace and KDP Select info following the advice in this link. I gave my SIN as my country’s tax ID number in the tax interview for both, and sure enough, now in both dashboards it says my withholding tax amount says 0%.

    However, would I still need an ITIN or ETN if I wanted to apply for the refund for the 30% the IRS has withheld from me until I had made this change?

    • Since nobody here answered me in over a year and a half, I’m not sure anybody has an answer for my next question, but this article is one of the first that shows up on Google so I’m giving this another shot, just in case…

      Any long term authors who’ve been publishing on Amazon & Createspace, or Smashwords, etc… before you could use your SIN instead of an EIN or ITIN know how to get a refund for all the previous 30% withholding that those publishing companies were doing? Createspace automatically gave that amount to me by direct deposit, but Amazon didn’t — and I sell way more Kindle books than I do paperback.

      I’m struggling to find authors who have successfully done so (gotten the refund), and the amount I’d get back is substantial enough that I want to find out how to do it. Apparently you can’t apply for a refund without an EIN/ITIN but the rules keep changing?

      Thanks in advance!

      • Hello, Stevie. I get many visitors to this post, so hopefully some will give you an answer. I’ve never had any money withheld because I got the EIN the first year I published. Good luck.

  21. Hi Diane,

    Thanks for the article. I’m still a little confused as to how I should proceed. Where on the IRS site can I access the online W-8BEN form? I’m only seeing a PDF version to be filled out offline.

    • Hello Jason,

      If you live in Canada, you have to print the PDF and mail it to the places selling your book (product), such as Smashwords. You can fill it out online, but you’re not sending it to the IRS.

      Thanks for visiting. I hope this helps.

      • Just to be clear, as a Canadian I have to fill out the PDF and mail it to my choice of seller (i.e. Amazon) only and not to the IRS?

        • Hi Jason. Things are still in the middle of being changed at Smashwords. (I have already received conflicting info because even their own people aren’t sure of the changes yet.
          You must send a paper copy of W8BEN to each publisher (Not..the IRS). (see bottom my letter from Smashwords)
          Here is a link to the IRS Instructions for the February 2014 W8BEN. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw8ben.pdf
          Here is a link to the actual PDF Feb 2014, valid for 3 years. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8ben.pdf
          When the W8BEN opens, click file…save as…choose DESKTOP. Rename it…call one W8BEN F14 Blank. Then save a second one..save as…and call it W8BEN F14 Smashwords (or whatever publisher). You can now complete the form on your screen and save the completed form on the desktop. Simply open and make any changes and click save.
          Each publisher needs a PAPER copy, because many ask for authentic signature. Contact each Publisher for the exact Address, and precisely how to word the envelope.
          So far, I only have Smashwords information.
          The Canadian SIN can be accepted on the new tax forms if you are an individual. However, we don’t yet have fields to collect the information on the payee setup page.
          Please send in your signed hard copy W-8BEN, and we will pay you at the appropriate tax treaty rate (0% for Canada).
          Postal mail us a printed, signed copy of your W-8BEN/W-8BEN-E Form to:
          Smashwords, Inc.
          Attn: Tax Compliance Dept.
          15951 Los Gatos Blvd., Suite 16
          Los Gatos, CA 95032 USA
          Here is the link to the Tax Treaty section of our FAQ: https://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq#taxtreatychecklist

  22. New Year’s Eve, I posted a question directly to Smashwords, asking about the most recent procedure which exempts non-American authors from the 30 % Royalty withholding. I told them I am Canadian. He confirmed you no longer need to go through the ITIN/EIN.
    It has changed wonderfully, but they also have not quite updated the website.
    All you need is the most recent W8BEN, (at this moment it is Feb 2014, and expires 3 years from acceptance date. It requires your country’s Treaty Number, and a Social Insurance Number (or whatever your country calls your INDIVIDUAL TAX NUMBER. You don’t even need the EIN (or worse still, the ITIN) Because if requires a signature, you cannot submit on line. Mail a paper copy through Canada Post. Ask each publisher for the exact department to do with compliance…precise address, and mail a paper (hard) copy.

  23. Thank you so much! I’ve been having issues with this for months, and you’ve finally given me the answer I needed as a Canadian, without having to wait for the review. I have an EIN that obviously wasn’t working, but this way makes more sense. They approved, and it’s a huge weight off my shoulders, so thank you again.

  24. First, it is 15 minutes before midnight…Happy New Year, Diane and welcome back. I am truly grateful if this is now the logical simple truth. My “antennae” were wiggling though when I noticed the exact wording above which says, “It is not necessary to have a Tax Identity Number (TIN) in order to determine if you are a U.S. or non-U.S. person for U.S. income tax purposes. However, any reduction of the 30 % statutory withholding tax rate applicable to your U.S. source payments will not apply until you can PROVIDE A TIN.
    Why should we ever have to go through the ITIN routine? (The IRS has approved agents on their website for Canadian cities. My Toronto IRS approved agent was going to charge me $400. to authenticate and submit, even though I had filled out forms and had duplicate of Passport, etc. already done. I walked away…and abandoned the idea of American publishing,
    but kept hoping they would simplify it.
    THE AGREEMENT CLEARLY SAYS THE FOLLOWING?
    THIS IS FROM THE CANADIAN VERSION (I gave up trying to understand the American version).
    Convention Between Canada and the United States of America
    http://www.fin.gc.ca/treaties-conventions/usa_-eng.asp
    “Article XII Royalties
    1. Royalties arising in a Contracting State and paid to a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed in that other State.
    2. However, such royalties may also be taxed in the Contracting State in which they arise, and according to the laws of that State; but if a resident of the other Contracting State is the beneficial owner of such royalties, the tax so charged shall not exceed 10 per cent of the gross amount of the royalties.
    3. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2,
    (a) copyright royalties and other like payments in respect of the production or reproduction of any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than payments in respect of motion pictures and works on film, videotape or other means of reproduction for use in connection with television); (I left section out here)
    arising in a Contracting State and beneficially owned by a resident of the other Contracting State SHALL BE TAXABLE ONLY IN THAT STATE.”

    I have not yet published, so I have nothing withheld, as of now.
    My other concern which I have come across in other websites is that they are again changing the “rules”, and an author will not be able to recover Royalties previously withheld, and the Treaty, which provides full exemption from that 30% withholding to Canadians, will apply only to any future Royalties. (You cannot recover what they already took.)
    This is a nightmare. I abandoned my intention to publish in the States, ONLY because of this unnecessarily complex mess.
    How simple to just …provide proof you are Canadian..Canadian banking information,address (yes Social Insurance Number), and they should not be able to withhold in the first place.

    • Oh my. The legal jargon is very confusing, as if they wrote in double-tongue. They certainly make things sound more complicated than it really should be. But that’s the government. It’s almost as if they make it difficult, so the average person can’t understand it and must hire someone to ‘do it for them’. Which is so completely wrong.

      Fortunately, I believe the new rules are as simple as I’ve stated. Just provide a SIN. As for retrieving money already withheld, that’s a kettle of worms I don’t have to worry about because I had all the paper work in place before I started publishing and receiving royalties. This is what I’d advise everyone to do.

      I was like you; I was going to just give up. It all sounded too complex, something I’d never be able to understand. Thankfully I kept searching the Internet and learning how easy it really was.

      All the best in your writing career and in the new year. Thanks for visiting and for commenting.

      • You may in fact be exactly right. I have read both the IRS and Canadian government description of the Treaty.(several times) I found one part that I believe clears it all up. The IRS refers to ITIN and TIN. The TIN is what they call the TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER..which, in Canada’s case is our SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER. We call it SIN, they call the same thing TIN.

  25. I’ve come by your blog before and am glad to see you are back.

    I plan to incorporate rather than work as a sole proprietor. Do I still use my SIN when registering with these various online ebook sellers, or does an author working for her own incorporated small business need to follow a different format?

  26. Hi Diane! Welcome back! I had left you a few messages on FB wondering where you went. Good for you for being so bold as to take a time out! Hope all is well! Great article, although I have to admit, I’m a bit confused. So we already have our EIN, are you saying that is no longer required? Are these new rules or only when our forms come up for review? I was told our forms are good for about 2 years before Amazon/Createspace checks up on us to update. 🙂

    • Thanks, Debby. I haven’t been on my Facebook page for a while. Bold? I don’t know. I was looking for a part time job close to home, but instead I got a 50 to 60 hour a day job 40 minutes away. It ate up my summer quickly, leaving me little time for anything else. The season job has now ended. Yes, from what I’m seeing, we no longer need an EIN. In fact, I couldn’t use if at CreateSpace. They wouldn’t accept it. I haven’t had time to check other places, like Smashwords and Kindle. I believe, however, that once these two review their tax information, we’ll have to update our numbers to our SIN. I’ll update this page when I learn more.

  27. Welcome back…I’ve been missing you…and only recently began to wonder if they had toughened up so what you shared with us today is encouraging.Thanks so much for all you do.

    • Thanks. I feel a little lost at the moment, not knowing which task to tackle first. There are so many. Learning about this new tax development was a pleasant surprise. I haven’t heard from Smashwords or Kindle yet, but I assume it is only a matter of time before I complete a tax interview with them as well.

    • I understand the hesitation, Lynn. I was a little weary giving my personal tax information to a foreign government. But in the end, my choice was to give it and continue publishing or not give it and remove my books from CreateSpace. I try not to worry about so much lately. There are bigger things to worry about in the world like health, obtaining and keeping access to healthy food and keeping the heat on. Yet, I do understand why someone wouldn’t give their SIN.

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