8 July 2011


ITIN number.
If you live outside the USA and do not have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), Smashwords and Amazon (or whoever you are selling your books through) will withhold 30% tax.  However, you are not obligated to obtain an ITIN if you are happy to live with this fact.

If you choose to obtain one, the process is as follows:-

Download a W-7 form from the IRS website along with instructions for filling it out.  At the same time, download a W-8BEN form.  When you have uploaded your ebook onto Kindle Direct Publishing, you will be able to download a letter from them explaining why you need an ITIN number.  Enclose this letter along with your completed W-7 form and other necessary identification documents and mail to:-

Internal Revenue Service
ITIN Operation
PO Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342

I think this process takes about six weeks.  When you receive your ITIN number, you then need to fill in W-8BEN forms with your ITIN number and send them to whoever you are selling through, eg., Smashwords, Amazon.


  1. Thank you for sharing this information!


  2. Interesting! I live in the U.S. and wonder what our wacky politicians do with all that "tax" money authors from other nations don't claim?

  3. Hopefully, authors from other countries will pass the word and obtain their ITIN numbers so tax money is not withheld.
    Perhaps I should shout the process of obtain an ITIN from the highest hill!