Okay, so I drag my feet when it comes to officialdom – Eighteen months ago, I published The Khekarian Threat with CreateSpace (Amazon) and Kindle, then I learned that I needed to provide proof that I was not a USA citizen, or they would automatically withhold 30% of all moneys for US tax. That meant I would be paying full tax in America and full tax here in Australia, too.
Listen, guys, you don’t get good money from writing. You make maybe $2 a sale. We all want millions of sales, but there are millions of writers and millions of books for readers to choose from, that means the sales count for new writers crawl up S-L-O-W-L-Y. We can’t afford to pay double taxes out of it.
No probs – I sent off a copy of my Australian driver’s license and birth certificate, as asked for, unfortunately my birth certificate was not in my current name, which – shock-horror! – got changed when I married. Back it came, rejected. They’re keeping the money. The dastards!
Okay, okay – the only way I could prove it was to get a passport. I’ve had a passport. I’ve had two passports, but they are way too old and not in my married name anyway.
That meant start again, from scratch. That meant getting a copy of my birth certificate and official copies of every change of name from there to here. That covered two countries and disappeared some money.
Yesterday some more money disappeared when at long last I handed the finished form over at the post office.
All up that’s a few hundred dollars just to hang onto that 30%. Hmmmm…. Doing quick sums in my head (and I wish I hadn’t), it might be some decades before I sell enough books to break even and just cover the cost of the passport. Was it worth it?
That’s the trouble. You don’t know how many books are going to sell, or if – at some point – the books will take off and become universally popular (Hey! It could happen!) – I just knew that at some point down the track, I might start to wish that I had organized that passport. So, finally, I have.
Next, I have to wait for the passport to arrive. THEN I have to get an official copy of it from the passport office. AFTER THAT, I send the copy to the IRS (the USA tax office), proving I’m an Aussie citizen living in Aussie land. THEN they give me a tax exemption number, which I can THEN use on the Amazon form to get them to release the full money’s owed WHEN the amount reaches enough to make the deposit worthwhile.
I guess I’d better get back to more writing. I’ll need a lot more books out if this is going to work. And to think, I dreamed of a house in the mountains…
Cheers all… (I think a coffee is due).