United States tax law requires that 30 percent be withheld of any regular payment made to individuals who reside elsewhere. Exceptions may be granted, however, for individuals who reside in countries that have tax treaties with the United States. Individuals who earn income from U.S. sources and who wish to claim tax-treaty benefits must obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service or a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration. If your country has a tax treaty with the U.S. and you provide us with your ITIN or SSN, you will be taxed according to the requirements of that treaty. If there is no treaty or you choose not to acquire an ITIN, 30 percent of your U.S earnings will be withheld.
In order to streamline the processing of your tax information, please fill out Form W8-BEN with your name, address, and signature and mail it to your acquiring editor at the Press. Additional instructions about the form may be found here.
If you do not have a U.S. ITIN or SSN, fill out the W-8BEN form and send it to us. Leave the tax identification number and tax treaty information blank for now. Should you wish to register for an ITIN, you may do so after sending us the W-8BEN. (We will need your ITIN by June of the year in which your book is scheduled for publication if we are to apply any tax-treaty benefit to your first royalty payment. Please inform your acquiring editor if you intend to apply for an ITIN so that we may delay your first royalty check until the proper forms have been processed.)
If you already have a U.S. ITIN or SSN, please complete Form W-8BEN, using your ITIN or SSN and your home address, and return the completed form, with your signature affixed, to your acquiring editor at the Press.
Please begin the process immediately, since we will be unable to pay royalties until we receive a properly completed W-8BEN form. If you need more information about applying for an ITIN, please visit the Internal Revenue Service webpage Obtaining an ITIN from Abroad or contact a U.S. tax attorney.
When completed, Form W-7 should be mailed directly to the Internal Revenue Service:
Internal Revenue ServicePlease do not send ITIN or SSN application forms to the University of Pennsylvania Press.
P.O. Box 149342
Austin TX 78714-9342
Special note on Certification of Foreign-Source Income forms: CFSI forms are for honoraria and certain other one-time payments only and may not be used to claim royalties. Please do not send us a CSFI form if you are an overseas author or editor submitting tax information in order to receive royalties.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Why must I submit a W-8BEN to Penn Press, and what does a completed W-8BEN contain?
The University of Pennsylvania, in accordance with U.S. tax law, will not allow us to process royalties or other regular payments to overseas individuals until we have obtained a signed, completed W-8BEN. Please fill out the name, address, and signature lines.
A successfully completed W-8BEN does not need to include an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or a Social Security Number (SSN). However, if you are eligible, based on your country of residence, to claim tax-treaty benefits and wish to have them applied to your royalty payments, begin the process of applying for an ITIN after submitting your W-8BEN to the Press and informing the Press that you intend to do so. This process can take several months; plan to start early in order to make the June deadline (see above). If you choose not to apply for an ITIN, your royalty checks will reflect the required withholding rate of 30 percent.
2. What is a Taxpayer Identification Number?
A Taxpayer Identification Number is a nine-digit number that is used by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to process taxes on individuals earning income from U.S. sources. There are two kinds: the Social Security Number (SSN)—issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents by the Social Security Administration—and the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which is issued by the IRS to persons who are ineligible for a SSN. When you submit the W-7 form to the IRS, you are applying for an ITIN.
3. I believe that I may already have an ITIN or SSN. How can I verify this?
If you have ever been a permanent resident of the United States, have ever been granted a permit to work in the United States, or have ever received royalties from a U.S. publisher, you may already have an ITIN or SSN. If you are unsure, you can check with the U.S. institutions—such as universities or publishers—from whom you have received income in the past. These institutions should have your tax information on file.
4. I am completing a W-7 form in order to apply for an ITIN. Which box should I mark in the first section?
You should mark box “a” for “Nonresident alien required to obtain ITIN to claim tax treaty benefit.” You do not need to mark any of the other boxes in this first section. You will, however, need to complete the “additional information” fields at the bottom of this section.
5. What are the “treaty country” and “treaty article number”?
The treaty country is your current country of residence. To find the treaty article number, you will need to download a PDF of the income tax treaty between the United States and your country of residence. A complete list of tax treaties is available on the IRS website. Check the treaty’s table of contents for the section that deals with royalties. The article number for that section is the treaty article number.
6. Where can I find more about this process?
On pages 2 through 4 of the W-7 instructions you will find additional directions about completing and submitting the form. Information and links on the IRS website specifically dealing with ITIN applicants will be found here.