Self-publishing with CreateSpace, Smashwords, Kindle Direct Publishing or IngramSpark is fairly easy. However, when using one of these distributors, you need to keep in mind IRS requirements. This is most important for non-US citizens.
You can publish blissfully without bothering with the IRS, but the distributor will not pay you any royalties until you complete form W8-BEN and include an EIN number, which you can get over the phone. Of course, if you already have an SSN or ITIN number, then you’re fine.
To get an EIN number, call US +267 941 1099 and select Option 2 from the automated prompt. When you get connected, ask an operator to put you to the department that issues EIN numbers. People there are very friendly and cooperative, and after some questions that last about eight minutes, you’ll get your EIN number. This will be followed with a confirming letter some two weeks later.
Once you get the number, complete W8-BEN, stating the following:
• Part I 8—Insert your email or account name you used to create your Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing account.
• Part II 10—Insert 5% for the withholding tax. Insert ‘12’ where it asks for provision of Article…(For non-US citizens only).
• Insert something like ‘Individual required for foreign tax withholding’—for non-US citizens.
• Part IV on the signature line, insert ‘Beneficial owner’.
Print the form and mail it to Smashwords. Insert the EIN number in the Payee instructions part of your account and save the page. Note: when saving the page, the number will be blocked from view for security purposes, so don’t worry.
For Kindle Direct Publishing, you can complete this form online.