Tax Evasion

Wow, it’s been ages since we blogged, but that’s because we haven’t had anything to blog about, so instead of bombarding you with mindless tripe, we figured it was better to stay silent. But today’s blog is brought to you by the letters A, T and the number 44. A is for Amazon, T is for tax and the number is for the last amount in dollars that Amazon withheld from us. It’s grown since then but we don’t have the data. If you want to read about our tax battle, this post is about the trouble we had with the IRS. Then there was this post about Amazon withholding our money.

You know your day is starting badly when you switch on the laptop and your first words are “fuck you Amazon.” Their email went along the lines of ‘here’s your money’ *dangles it in front of us* ‘no you can’t have it.’ They told us that they do not issue refunds for amounts held before they received the W8-BEN form, but in MARCH they will send us a form stating how much they’ve stolen from us and if we want to, we can contact the IRS about a refund. So…they DO issue refunds? BUT – we sent Amazon THREE forms then chased them up about each one. They claimed they never received the forms and we should send them it via tracking. We told them seeing as it’s their fault they haven’t received the forms, we would gladly send another one via tracking, as long as they pay for it. A few days later, they found the third form. Like magic.

We were looking forwards to our royalties for the past couple of months because they’re our highest yet. Yet we got paid this morning and it’s a lot less than it should be. Because they’ve withheld our tax again. We emailed them telling them how ridiculous it all is, and reminding them the UK has a tax treaty with America, so they have no right to withhold our tax and we will not be waiting until March to claim it all back. That’s OUR hard earned money, you thieving bastards! It’s hard enough making a living from writing and when Amazon then steals a large percentage of that money for no reason, it makes it worse.

And this comes a few days after we’ve been fined £100 each for a late tax return in the UK, even though we sent them our returns well within the time frame. So we now have to fight Amazon for our American tax and HMRC for the fine. Will there ever be a day when we don’t have to fight to the death about everything? Unlikely. We’re full time writers. We don’t earn much so having to battle two different companies for tax that is rightfully ours is a pain in the arse, and financially damaging. Some days we just get sick of fighting. But some days, the fight is all we have left.

Listen Amazon – you haven’t paid tax in our country, so don’t fucking steal our tax in yours! If we have to come to America to perform a daring robbery armed with glitter guns to get our tax back, you’ll be sorry. You’ll also be sparkling like a Twilight vampire in the sunshine. So give us back our tax or you will be picking glitter out of your hair for weeks.

5 Comments

  1. I gave up with the form for the tax treaty as it was so difficult and I refused to put my passport in the post to their Embassy as proof of I/D. But I’ve found that it’s better to send mail ( even letters of enquiry) to any semi-official or official department by recorded delivery so there can never be an argument about receipt. Having said that, we took a death certificate into a branch of Th Halifax recently and head office still say they never got it.
    I hope you eventually get sorted.

    • sorry to hear you’ve been having problems too. We phoned the IRS in America to get our EIN number. It took about 15 minutes and they couldn’t understand a word we said but it was easier.
      We’ll try recorded delivery next time if it saves us this headache.

  2. This post and the two previous ones that you link to in it have been a bit of an eye opener for me as this is all things that I have ahead of me. It’s almost off putting though as I see how many hurdles there are but to get my fiction out the will be worth the effort. Although befriending an accountant seems like a good idea 🙂

    • it was an eye-opener for us too! Though if you need a hand with anything, we’ll be happy to help. The issue comes with trying to sell in America, which is annoying, as it’s where most of our sales come from. It’s definitely worth it though and you can sell books without the forms, it just means they’ll withhold 30%. We first self-published Feb 2012, but didn’t bother trying to sort the tax ’til September.

      • Thank you ladies ill bear that in mind. I must admit I thought that you had to get the tax forms sorted out but knowing that you don’t is a bit of a relief 🙂


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