Lulu in London, self-publishing a children’s book in the UK, the tax forms

Well – that was easier than expected.  There are two forms you need to know about – so make sure you fill that second one too.

i went all around the houses to find this out.  Then I emailed Lulu who sent me all the forms plus a handy headed letter.

The W-8BEN form looks atrocious;  pages and pages of counter-intuitive legalese.  But hang on, all you actually have to do is fill in one page.  So you are putting your name and address in Part I.  Pat yourself on the back.  In Part II – which is about the Tax Treaty benefits – you just tick box 9a to say you are resident in the UK.  Then skip down to question 10.  You drop in 12 where it says the Provisions of Article_.  You write 0% rate of tax and then at the very end you give as our reason for meeting the terms “Copyright Royalties”.

Print it, sign it, date it and post it to Lulu in raleigh, NC.  Allow yourself a brief fantasy about how you might spend a Royalty cheque.  Image 500 quid.   How would you use that?

Now – back to work.  There is another form.  The W7.  This is the form you need to get your individual tax reference.  (ITIN)

The W7 form is your chance to say that you want a tax reference but you do not want to do a tax return.

Start by ticking (a) as the Reason You are Submitting.

Do the name and address then look at page two on How to Apply.  You need two pieces of paperwork now.  I used my passport as my ID.  You cannot just send a photocopy.  You need to go to your passport office and get a certified copy.  Sixteen quid later you have a stamped, official photocopy. I asked at the office if I was allowed to photocopy this and they said yes, no problem.  Get your £16 quids worth.

Now – you do not want to do a tax return.  Look on page 6 at the Exceptions Tables.  You will see Exception 1 is Third party Witholding on Passive Income.  That is you.  You are item 1 (d) receiving income such as…royalties. (hooray)  The documentation needed is a letter from the withholding agent.  Lulu has it all pre-printed and ready to email to you.  I emailed Customer Support and they sent me the w-8BEN, the W7 and this letter.

So, now you are putting the W7, Lulu’s letter and your expensive passport photocopy into a envelope and sending to the IRS in Austin, Texas.

Another pat on back and brief fantasy about being Oprah’s Book of the Month and getting substantial royalties.  Dream the dream.

Oh and finally, when you do get the ITIN number the last thing you need to do is add it to your profile in Lulu.  You do that under Change Remission settings.

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