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Queensland, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Queensland, Australia. www.noelleclark.net

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Steps for Aussie authors: Obtaining an ITIN for US Publishers

For any authors who are not US nationals, and who live outside the United States, part of the process for being accepted by US Publishers involves the need for an ITIN – or Individual Taxpayer
Identification Number - from the IRS. Go to the IRS web site for information on the ITIN.

Your Publisher will give you instructions which you should follow to the letter, however I thought I’d share my steps to hopefully make this rather complex process a little easier.

1. You will need to have your identification documents formally certified, so gather relevant documents such as Passport, Birth/Marriage Certificates, tertiary qualifications/transcripts (a complete list is available on the IRS or DFAT website.) Note that a current passport needs no other documentation.

2. Take your documents to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in your capital city. (This is the link for the Brisbane office, with lots of good information.) They gave me a certified copy of my passport for free.

3. If you don't have a current passport, you will need to have all other documents (apart from an original Birth certificate) notarised by a Notary Public. (This link is not a personal referral, merely a starting off point with good information about what a Notary does.) It is not good enough to have your documents certified by a solicitor or JP.

4. For people other than Australians, or for Aussies abroad, go to the Hague Convention site and find your country’s link to Designated Competent Authorities. These are the only people who can identify you and no other will be recognised by the IRS.

5. Once you have entered into a contract with your Publisher, they will mail you a letter, which needs to be sent to the IRS along with the certified copies of your documents, plus a completed form W-7 (Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). When the IRS send you your ITIN, complete form W-8BEN and send it to your publisher.

It takes about two months to get your ITIN, so best idea is to start on this process early.

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