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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 10th, 2010
    legal way to join US-centric affiliate programs
    I am planning a major affiliate site and some of the merchants I plan to sign up with are known to be picky, and one of their standard criteria is that the site should be based in the US. My site will target US residents primarily but I am not living in the US and am not a US citizen. However, I do have a US bank account and a US postal address because my husband is originally from there and we still get stuff sent to his mother sometimes.
    Would it be legal to sign up to the affiliate networks with that US address? Also would this cause taxation problems i.e. would the IRS consider me to be earning money in the US and order to me to pay US taxes, even though I am not a US citizen?
    Does anyone know anything about this issue?

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Mansfield, TX
    If you say that you're from the US, you'll be required to enter a US taxpayer identification number. I'm assuming you don't have one, so that's not an option.

    Most programs that are worth joining will understand that some affiliates outside of the US target customers inside of the US and will be open to foreign affiliates like that. You'll likely have to approach them individually and have a fully developed site for many of them to see.
    Michael Coley
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
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  3. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 22nd, 2007
    West Covina, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by tblogster View Post
    However, I do have a US bank account
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    If you say that you're from the US, you'll be required to enter a US taxpayer identification number. I'm assuming you don't have one, so that's not an option.
    tblogster must have either a TIN or a social security number to have opened a bank account, and either can be used to open an account with a network or in-house merchant program.

    If you earn over $600/year with any network or in-house, they are required to report that to the IRS, who will then expect to see a tax return and tax payment. If you earn an income from US merchants, by virtue of sales made to US residents, and the money paid to you through US companies is deposited into a US bank account, then it would seem likely that you will owe US income tax. (if you make enough of an overall profit, that is.) It is certain, though, that you do not have to be a US citizen to owe US income tax. The people to ask these questions of would be CPAs.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  4. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Park City Utah
    Once you have figured out the residency/tax issue I recommend reaching out to the affiliate manager for the programs you want to promote. Develop a relationship with them and explain your objectives. This way you know going in if there will be roadblocks. Otherwise, once you start making sales you may be investigated for fraud and have commissions reversed. With a relationship in place this should happen. If they don't respond then its doubtful they would have accepted your application.

  5. #5
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 7th, 2010
    Deep South
    Apply for ITIN from the I.R.S.
    I suggest you apply for an ITIN from the I.R.S. Here's the URL to the I.R.S. web page which gives a quick view of this. If you have income that is taxable, you *will* need to pay U.S. Income Tax. GL,00.html#itin

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