This is a long and windy road for Australian authors living in Australia wanting to self-publish using Createspace (Amazon) or even doing ebook for iBookstore. They all ask you for a US Individual Tax Identification Number (US ITIN) for self publishing purposes. The process isn’t that easy especially if you don’t know how (aka me).
Hopefully this very detailed article will help others go through this painlessly. You need an ITIN because if not, Createspace will take 30% off your royalty for tax purposes instead of 5%. As for iBookstore, you can’t create an account at all unless you’re planning to sell your ebooks for free.
How to do it
To get your documents ready to send to the IRS for your ITIN application, you need to get your Passport copy notarised by the US Consulate General in Sydney, unless you want to send the original passport which I really don’t recommend (the IRS don’t recommend this as well, as stated in their letter to me).
- Download a W-7 form and fill it out. There is a sample form already filled out for your guidance. Tick box a. After box h, fill in Treaty Country: Australia and Treaty Article Number: 1982.
- Mail the following to the US Consulate General: a completed W-7 form, a self-addressed Express Post envelope, current passport and one clear photocopy of the passport, and a $50 postal money order or bank check made payable to the U.S. Consultate Genereal (personal checks or company checks are not accepted) – you can get this from the post office.
- Applications are only accepted by mail (trust me, I dropped by their office at Martin Place):
U.S. Consulate General
Attn: Special Consular Services
Level 10, MLC Centre
19-29 Martin Place
Sydney, NSW 2000
If you want to double check this process, you can email them through: Sydney ACS firstname.lastname@example.org
4. The ACS will return your documents in the Express Post envelope you enclosed. Take out the W-7 form and the notarised passport copy. These will be included in the documents you send to the IRS.
5. Send the W-7 form, the notarised passport, and the letter from Createspace called OnDemand ITIN letter pdf (only if you are using Createspace) to the IRS. Make sure you fill in the date and your name before printing it out:
Department of Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
PO Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
6. After you get your ITIN, you can change the details on Cretespace, or fill in the iBookstore account.
I’ve had this entry written for a while but I’m only publishing it now after I got my letter from the IRS. It took around three weeks to come back to me so just be patient.
EDIT: Or you can get an EIN, which is apparently much easier, by visiting this site. I’ve never tried it so I don’t know the process but another writer went through it and he says it’s less hassle.