“I can’t remember my tax number and my publisher won’t give it to me! What can I do?”

“I can’t remember my tax number and my publisher won’t give it to me! What can I do?”

Q – 

Hi Angela,

I self published with Balboa Press.

Recently, as I live in the UK, I needed an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to prevent taxes from being removed from my royalties in the U.S.  During a move, I lost all my papers, and could not find my ITIN.

I, therefore, asked Balboa Press if they would inform me of my number. Now, bearing in mind, it’s my number and, of course, I gave it to them, after receiving it from the IRS. But, they have steadfastly refused to tell me what the number is, saying it’s due to their security procedures.

I feel this is unreasonable as I’ve sent them information that verifies it’s me and not another person. What can I do? I’m going to try and get it from the IRS by faxing them a W7 form but I really think this is terribly unreasonable of Balboa Press. 

A – 

For once (first time ever!), I agree with Balboa Press. There is a huge security risk in sending tax numbers online. Think about it. What if someone someone stole your laptop out of your car, and was trying to steal your identity by contacting a firm you’d recently emailed? There are numerous scenarios I can think of. One that comes immediately to mind is the guy who contacted us at Booklocker saying his dad had died, and that we needed to start sending the royalties to him instead. The problem was, his dad was still very much alive. The son was trying to steal from our author.

He quickly learned that I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck! Nerp dee shnerp!! And, he wasn’t even the beneficiary of his dad’s royalties on his dad’s contract!

The best and safest course of action is for you to contact the IRS. You can use THIS FORM to obtain the number. In box “h,” tell them you lost your number.


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