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Reclaiming US Tax

Reclaiming US Tax
Owen Jones


Reclaiming US Tax

I paid US taxes on my Internet activities needlessly for about fifteen years, then three years ago, I phoned the international section of the Inland Revenue Service, which is situated in Texas, I believe, and obtained an EIN -an Employer’s Identification Number. It was a simple process taking only fifteen minutes as far as I remember.

This year CreateSpace rejected it, but neither Kindle nor the rest of American business that I have any dealings with had a problem. Bureaucracy was the problem, I assumed, so I resubmitted my form and it was rejected again, five times.

After a few choice emails, a man from CreateSpace’s tax department emailed me for an appointment to chat. During that talk, he revealed that the IRS no longer accepts an EIN as proof that US tax should not be withheld.

Why couldn’t someone have said that, announced it, eight weeks ago and saved thousands of people two months of frustration, wasted emails and pointless transatlantic phone calls?

Anyway, the remedy is quite simple and no longer involves phoning the IRS. On the tax form there is a checkbox saying ‘I have a foreign tax identification number’. Tick that and a field opens up to accept it.

In the case of Brits, this is your National Insurance Number without spaces. A simple nine-digit alphanumeric ID and you get paid everything you’ve earned, not seventy percent of it.

I hope you go and do that now, because we Brits collectively are probably paying Amazon more than they are paying the UK Inland Revenue.


You see everywhere the advice to writers not to edit until the end. I’m fed up with reading it. While I appreciate that some apprehensive writers may use it as an excuse not to finish their book, I’m afraid that that’s up to them.

If as you progress through your story, you find that something doesn’t fit, there is no point soldiering on regardless.
I have just had one such moment.

The story in DC2 works as well as it’s ever going to, but one element has been to left to be revealed too late in the story. This would cause the book to need to be a third longer for it to make sense – 100,000 words instead of the seventy-odd thousand I’d planned.

It is far better to go back and put that right now, than struggle to find another thirty thousand words.
When you see a boxed card in the deck, you don’t finish shuffling before turning that card the right way up, do you?


+Owen Jones

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