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Resources for Writers

Claiming US Royalty Refunds the Easy Way

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Anyone who has self published and is selling books in the US is likely to have had up to 30% of their royalties withheld by the US Tax authorities. Registering with the IRS will stop this happening (info here) but what if you only realise that you need to register and get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, AFTER your royalties have been withheld? How do you get the money back?

Taxback.com is an Irish based international tax service provider that has honed their US Tax Service to deliver a speedy, no hassle and super friendly service to artists, including writers, claiming back tax and royalty refunds from the US. If you’ve received royalties from the US anytime in the past three years and you weren’t a resident there during that time, you will have had up to 30% automatically deducted from your earnings and paid to the IRS.

Taxback.com can claim back most, if not all, of this tax, deducted from your royalty receipts as far back as the past three tax years.

To reclaim your overpaid taxes, you will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the IRS. If you find the process of registering for your ITIN daunting, Taxback.com can look after it for you as well. They are an authorised ITIN Certifying Acceptance Agent so what can be quite complex for you, is a quick and easy process for them.

Catherine Ryan Howard, is a writing.ie regular – a writer, blogger and coffee enthusiast from Cork, and one of Ireland’s most successful self-published authors. She has written and self-published several books, the most popular of which, Mousetrapped: A Year and a Bit in Orlando, Florida, has sold more than 12,000 copies. Catherine’s books are sold as e-books or paperbacks by several book US based distributor sites, including Amazon, CreateSpace and Smashwords.

In 2010 and 2011, some of Catherine’s royalty earnings from her books sold in the US were taxed up to 30% – but due to the existing tax treaty between Ireland and the US, Catherine shouldn’t have been paying any withholding tax at all. However, unaware of the tax treaty arrangement, the book distributors were obliged by the IRS to withhold the mandatory tax.

Catherine approached taxback.com to assist with reclaiming her US royalty tax refunds for 2010 and 2011.  She had already acquired her ITIN by herself, after much effort and hair pulling on her part, so the first thing taxback.com needed to deal with was to resolve an outstanding issue in relation to the ITIN, which had left Catherine frustrated and exasperated with the IRS. This was quickly sorted out by their US tax team (they speak the same language as the IRS, always a bonus!) Then it was simply a matter of preparing and submitting her tax returns to reclaim her overpaid taxes.  Catherine explains how easy taxback.com are to use:

“I can’t recommend taxback.com’s service enough…..With taxback.com, all I had to do was fill out one form (and their forms are so much easier than the IRS’s), sign my name a couple of times and then sit back and relax while they did everything else. …. I only wish I’d known about their ITIN service before I wasted eight months trying to get mine. They’re also extremely reasonably priced and you can always reach them by phone or e-mail. Well worth it, in my opinion—just think of the headaches you’ll spare yourself!”

If you’re interested in finding out more about taxback.com, you can start with registering online by filling out their short registration form. Taxback.com provides a free, no obligation consultation and assessment. An account manager will then contact you to confirm some information, and to answer any questions you may have.

To apply for your ITIN or your Royalty Refund, all you need to do is download and complete your application pack and then find yourself a nice comfortable chair, put your feet up and wait a few weeks while they  do all the paperwork!  Taxback.com set up an online TaxTracker account for you, so you can follow each step of the process and their fees are deducted from your refund so that you don’t have to pay any upfront amount,

For more information, check out  www.taxback.com and make things easy for yourself!