If you are based outside the US and want to sell eBooks through US retailers such as Apple’s iBookstore, you will be liable to pay 30% US income tax on all the royalties you receive. To legally avoid paying US income tax you will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
An ITIN is an official, unique reference number that you can use to tell US retailers that you do not need to pay US income tax.
If you obtain an ITIN number you can also set-up your own account with Apple’s iTune Connect which allows you receive full royalty payments from Apple. You cannot set-up your own Apple account unless you have an ITIN.
Applying for an ITIN can be a arduous process and can take months to complete. We recommend that you contact www.usataxrebate.com you specialise in helping non-US residents successfully apply for ITIN numbers.
Post update 26 March 2012
Catherine Ryan Howard gives an entertaining and informative account of her experiences when trying to obtain a US ITIN number on her excellent website Catherine, Caffeinated. This post is well worth seeing, as Catherine also gives an alternative solution to the problem of obtaining an ITIN number, which may be suitable for your needs, from David Gaughran (author of Let’s Get Digital amongst other best selling fiction titles).
“But then, in the last few weeks, people started telling me that I didn’t need an ITIN at all—an Employee Identification Number (EIN) would’ve done the job, and an EIN was much easier to get. I posted about this possibility, and fellow Irish self-publisher David Gaughran volunteered to be the guinea pig—and got his EIN within minutes, and over the phone.”