Having written the book that you are eagerly waiting to self-publish on Amazon KDP and thus reaching literally millions of audience overnight, there are some pre-work to be done before that success feeling can become your reality.
Updating the tax information, payment and bank information – though necessary to enjoy the fruits of your labour, often are quite confusing – no matter how easy the on-screen instructions are, from Amazon.
I can completely understand your situation, because, I have been there. That’s why I wrote this detailed post with some screenshots to help you quickly pass that phase.
Being an Indian author, I wanted to put this guide so it could help any non-U.S. author on KDP.
Especially more, if you are from India, as the screenshots are more relevant to Indian authors. You will see a step-by-step approach for completing your tax interview. Quite honestly, it’s really easy if you wanted to update it yourself on Amazon, but hey, this guide at least vouches that your submission could be more satisfactory if you had a fellow-author done along with you so you could match and review if everything was done correctly.
So, let’s begin.
Definitive Guide to Completing Tax Interview for Amazon KDP
First, login to your KDP Dashboard and click on your ‘Account’ to go to your account page.
Since my tax info is already updated, you see a green text block there. But if you are updating this for the first time, just simply click on the button that says ‘View/Provide Tax Information‘. As you can see, it’s 15% rate for India as it has a tax treaty with the U.S. (see more info below); or else this could easily be nearly 30%.
That will take you to the Tax Information Interview screen. Here’s where the tax interview is completed. Make sure you have a 10 minute time to finish this in one go. You can anyway save and come later, but it’s preferable to complete in one-sitting.
For the question, ‘For U.S. tax purposes, are you a U.S. person?’ select ‘No‘. Click on ‘Save and continue‘.
On the next page, you will update the ‘Type of beneficial owner’, ‘Place of Organization’, ‘Organization name’ details. Of course, these details (and more such relative details in the upcoming sections of the tax interview) are unique to you and can only be better known by you. Please don’t answer them exactly as I have shown in the screenshots. Decide for yourself, which is applicable to you.
Since we selected ‘non U.S.’ person in the earlier screen, we get the customized questions in this screen for taking further inputs from us.
Choose your respective options. If you are an Indian individual with no company, you can select ‘Individual’ as shown below:
Are you an agent acting as an intermediary?
An intermediary is any person that acts as a custodian, broker, nominee, or otherwise as an agent for another person, regardless of whether that other person is the beneficial owner of the amount paid, a flow-through entity, or other intermediary. If you are an agent acting as an intermediary, select ‘Yes’ for the question, ‘Are you an agent acting as an intermediary?‘, I chose ‘No’ because I am not an intermediary. I am just an author trying to self-publish my book directly with Amazon KDP. Nobody else with me is working on this.
U.S. Person Tests – Individual
Next question tests if you are really a non-U.S. individual from tax’s perspective. So, depending on your life’s situation, choose the options below. For me, none of them apply, so I didn’t check any option.
Tax Identification Number (TIN)
Since we are speaking of a non-U.S. individual, who has a PAN card (applicable to Indian citizens only), you can directly select the 2nd option that says ‘I have a foreign (non-U.S.) income tax identification number‘.
India has an active Double Taxation treaty with the U.S. and thus, as an Indian, you will be eligible to receive a reduction in the statutory withholding tax rate of 30% (of course this is applicable to you only if you qualify to be an Indian resident).
If that’s the case with you (i.e. you are an Indian resident and the treaty applies to you and you don’t qualify to be a U.S. citizen for tax purposes, etc.) then simply check that box after selecting ‘India’ as your ‘Country of Residence‘.
Foreign (non-U.S.) income tax identification number (TIN)
This is where you will input your PAN card number as your Tax Id number.
Hit on ‘Save and continue’ button. The next screen asks you to ‘Review’ the details you have input in a Form format with all the details magically filled up for you. This is the Form W-8Ben which is a Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals). This form gets electronically submitted to the concerned authorities at/by Amazon.
Consent to electronic delivery of Form 1042-S
On the next screen, you will see a ‘Consent to electronic delivery of Form 1042-S’. You can select the ‘paperless’ option here unless you prefer to send a paper delivery. I recommend going paperless for various reasons – which includes saving trees and time.
Consent to electronic signature
While there is no compulsion for you to go paperless, the benefits are obvious – you need not physically go to the post office or courier to ‘mail’ the documents in an envelope. Similarly, electronic signature is as simple as just keying your full name as per your records and just giving your account’s email address. So, in this section, just select the first option – “I consent to provide my electronic signature”.
Again, it’s your choice.
After selecting the ‘electronic signature’ option, you will have to check approximately 6 checkboxes to testify some questions. These are quite basic and is kind of a review of the information you had already given. Just read them and select accordingly as per your situation. Here’s an example screenshot. Please read them carefully before selecting!
Finally, you give your ‘electronic signature’ by typing your name, date (automatically filled in with your current date), and the email address along with your capacity as ‘individual’ (or whatever applies to you).
Once you are done, just hit on Submit button.
If not satisfied, or if you want to review, you can hit on the ‘Previous’ button).
That’s all. For further information on Amazon KDP Tax interview, please refer to their guide given here.
Once you finish this Tax interview process , ensure you update the bank details as well (Amazon US and India supports EFT) for all other Amazon marketplaces give the ‘Check’ as your option (called as Cheque in India). So your bank details screen in the Account page looks like this:
That’s all folks!
Have any questions? You can leave a comment below and I can help if the question is a short one. If you have many questions, feel free to contact me using this special page.
I have a book published on How to Self Publish your eBook in Indian Languages on Amazon KDP (affiliate link) which is a step-by-step guide to self-publish your ebook in Indic Languages – Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Malayalam.