I have been preparing some of my teaching stuff for possible publication via the Kindle store, but I have been a little overwhelmed by the process. I want to make sure I do everything correctly, from a business standpoint. But it does not seem like there is good information out there about how to set everything up. Here is what I have found so far:
1) This blog post talks about Amazon withholding taxes for all authors, even non-American ones, and suggests that you need a special American tax number to get out of this.
2) My personal tax accountant, who is not a publishing expert but is a tax expert, has suggested that this would be a bad idea and that I should not ‘involve’ myself with the IRS if I can help it because then I will be filing tax paperwork with them forever after for the rest of my life. He also said that if they DID withhold taxes from a Canadian author, a tax accountant could probably get it back for them as a tax refund later.
3) This blog post says you don’t need that number anymore; that Amazon has built in some filtering questions to the KDP sign-up process which eliminate this need. Apparently, I can provide the tax information number for my own country (this may be my social security number?) and it will exempt me from the withholding.
4) Amazon.ca has its own support page for Kindle Direct, which promises features such as getting paid in your own currency directly to your bank account. But when you click on the link, it redirects you to the .com portal. So, does this mean I still have to worry about Amazon withholding taxes?
In a perfect world, I think Amazon should collect taxes from nobody; they should instead simply issue a royalty statement and let the person file it as income on their taxes for whichever country they pay to, and so be it. But in the meantime, I am trying to sort this issue out. Does anybody know this, conclusively? What do I need to do before I can publish my books?