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May 16th, 2010, 01:07 PM #1
legal way to join US-centric affiliate programs
- Join Date
- May 10th, 2010
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?
May 16th, 2010, 05:32 PM #2
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.
May 16th, 2010, 06:16 PM #3
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.
May 17th, 2010, 12:10 AM #4
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.
May 23rd, 2010, 10:27 AM #5Apply 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
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