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  1. #1
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    Just received this email notification from LinkShare:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

    February 20, 2003

    Dear LinkShare Affiliate,

    In a routine inspection of our records, we have discovered that
    LinkShare does not have a W-8 BEN tax form on file for your company.
    As a non-U.S. Affiliate participant in the LinkShare Network, you are
    required to deliver to LinkShare a completed and signed copy of this
    tax form, as required by the U.S. government for proper tax withholding
    and processing. Without it, we must unfortunately hold your commission
    checks.

    For copies of W-8 forms and further information on these requirements,
    please visit the website for the United States Internal Revenue Service
    at www.irs.gov. The search boxes on the left side of the homepage can
    help you reach the forms you need to complete and instructions on how
    to complete them. Please note that, under certain circumstances as
    indicated on the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's Website, you may be
    required to complete and deliver a W-8 ECI.

    Please fill out the appropriate form, sign it, and deliver it to us
    immediately. You may fax, mail or courier the form to us at the
    following:

    LinkShare Corporation
    Attention: Affiliate Development Dept.
    215 Park Avenue South, 8th Floor
    New York, New York 10003

    Our fax number is 01-646-602-0160.

    If you have complete and delivered a W-8BEN or W-8 ECI tax form in the
    past, then please fax us a copy of the completed form as delivered. We
    apologize for any inconvenience.

    Please feel free to email us at contact@linkshare.com with any
    questions or concerns.

    Best regards,

    LinkShare's Affiliate Development and Affiliate Support Departments

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Any other non-U.S. based affiliates received the same from LinkShare or other networks?

    Thanks.


    VAN.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    Yes, me too
    Just trying to fax it through but line appears busy.

    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  3. #3
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    Yes, I got one today also.
    MJ, make sure you use the 0015 number for international faxes, not 0011.

    Also, the box #6 on the W-8BEN MJ, do we just leave that blank? I've already sent it off, so I hope it's correct.

    Pete

  4. #4
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    Thanks MJ, I'm still reading thru pages after pages of instructions for filling out the tax forms.

    But in a nutshell, are we supposed to pay a 30% withoulding tax now, based on the revised W-8BEN Form? I thought if we are not resident in USA, then we are not subject to any US tax, income or the witholding type. Yes?

    Thanks.

    VAN.

  5. #5
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    No, you shouldn't have to pay any tax due to the tax treaties setup between your country and the US. (assuming your country has setup these tax treaties).

    MJ & I are from Australia, if you are too, then you don't have to pay anything. Check the IRS site (what a crap site.. nightmare to navigate) to see if your country has a tax treaty.

  6. #6
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    Thanks Pete for the tax treaty info. But sadly, no such luck for me, as my country does not appear to have a Tax Treaty with USA.

    I'll fill out the form anyway, and hope for the best (and also that other networks do not catch on).

    VAN.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    Ah! that's why the line is always busy, thanks Pete, I'll try that number!
    #6 US id or Foreign tax id number, is that the one Pete?
    If so I've always left it blank.
    The only parts of the form I fill out;
    Part 1
    #1-3-4-
    Part 11
    #9/a
    and sign and date.

    Van, sorry to hear your country doesn't have a tax treaty, read through the irs site and talk to your accountant, there maybe other options you can explore.

    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  8. #8
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    I was taken somewhat by surprise by the E-mail asking for filled W-8BEN forms. I sent mine by fax. Some of my checks are late. It seems to me that Linkshare is holding on to the payments until they receive the W-8BEN. Is any other foreign affiliate experiencing a delay in receiving checks?

    Affiliator

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Abigail's Avatar
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    I just got a cheque in the mail - no surprise email.......yet. I'll be expecting one though, after reading this thread.

    Abigail

  10. #10
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    I have not had any of my linkshare cheques for december yet, they said they were posted nearly 2 weeks ago, but i just got a performics one which was posted last week, so there is something going on. I have not had an email about any form either???

  11. #11
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    Tamalyn, thanks for your posting. It has become quite clear that LS in holding on to the foreign affiliate checks including mine of course

    the LS letter even says

    "Without it, we must unfortunately hold your commission
    checks."

    I haven't received any LS checks lately including some that were sent two weeks ago. It usually takes three days for me to get my check after it is mailed.

    I find this somewhat unacceptable! LS should have at least given a grace period to allow affiliates to send their W-8BEN forms before they withhold payment. Such a measure would have assured the smooth running of the payments without interruption for those who supply their form on time.

    Sarah, we'd appreciate you help in this matter.

    Affiliator

  12. #12
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    ok folks sorry for appearing blind... but what is the entire LinkShare fax number for people from overseas. The whole "0015 number for international faxes, not 0011" logic is lost on me...

  13. #13
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    That 0015 & 0011 #'s are for Australian residents only.

    Each country should have a prefix that has to be dialed in otder to reach an international number.

    So Australians should dial 0015 1 (us country code) xxx (area code) xxxxxxxxx (number.. i think the digits is correct )

  14. #14
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    Just to let you know, I have not recieved my cheques yet! and I have not had an email about the form, so what do I do?
    just get the form and send it, or email linkshare?

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador parentsworld's Avatar
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    Same here. No email or other contact about a form but no cheque.

    Now, mind you, LS is ALWAYS months behind sending me cheques. The only thing striking me as odd is my one big regualar moneymaker it says LS received the cheque on 11Feb03 but when I go to see when MY cheque is being sent out it says "awaiting merchant payment". HUH? Which one is it?

    I'll be some pissed if they're holding back waiting for a form but never sent notification. I think it's time to go after a private deal with that one big merchant and look at dropping the rest. I have a low tolerance for stupidity.

    A woman is like a tea bag: You never know her strength until you drop her in hot water

  16. #16
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    Tamalyn,

    I can't speak on behalf of LS, but to play it safe, I would say, simply send a signed W-8BEN form by fax and wait a couple of weeks. That's what I plan to do!

    Affiliator

  17. #17
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    thanks i will do that, do we need to put a reference no on it, or anything like in part 8, or anything telling tham our linkshare account no??
    and also whats the fax no from the uk??

    strange that i have had no email

  18. #18
    Full Member heisje's Avatar
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    I AM VERY SHOCKED BY ALL OF YOU ACCEPTING THIS LINKSHARE CRAP. THIS IS A GREAT SHAME ON ALL OF YOU.

    No affiliate income is liable to any kind of withholding, and this is purely a LinkShare misinterpretation of the law. Why do you assume that Amazon, and all the other affiliate networks like Commission Junction, BeFree, Performics et all, are simple ignorant idiots and require no such form? Why do you presume that Amazon, a corporation many times the size of LinkShare with over 500,000 affiliates and an excellent in-house legal department are requiring absolutely nothing from foreign affiliates?

    Our income is not generated in the US. We are publishers and we place promotional materials (advertisements) in our sites on the WWW. We do not perform sales in the US. We are publishers selling advertising space.This is exactly why CJ, much wiser on this point than foolish LinkShare, specifically (and not by coincidence) terms affiliates as PUBLISHERS and merchants as ADVERTISERS.

    Think of it in this way: US merchant JCPenney places a quarter page advertisement in the London Times - do you think that JCPenney could ever dream of withhold 30% from the Times invoice for US taxes? Certainly not! It would be preposterous and they would be taken immediately to court for non-payment.

    It is unfortunate that we have to deal all the time with business amateurs in this affiliate game. Many times I get fed up with the likes of LinkShare and Commission Junction. Their low calibre in every respect, their ignorance and (in the case of ParasiteWare) their co-operation with outright thieves demonstrates the lowly environment of knowledge and ethics in which we are called to perform our business activities. All this is very disappointing and frustrating.

    We have contacted LinkShare, the one and only among networks and independent affiliate merchants that have made this demand, and have attempted to explain to them the fallacy of their position.
    That was on Friday. They have told us that they shall investigate further this matter.

    Let us hope that they can see the light before they lose most of their foreign-based affiliates to the other networks.

    It makes no difference if you are exempt from tax withholding by bilateral treaties or not (*we* - for your information- are indeed exempt by a bilateral treaty). We have to fight for the prevalence of rationality, correct practices and against the ignorance and the arrogance of a bunch of * * * * * .


    .

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    heisje, I feel no shame and feel a little confused as to why I should!

    I you live outside the US and generate a certain level of income in the USA you have to supply a W-8BEN Form otherwise the US tax law states the company is entitled to withhold up to 30%, otherwise they have to pay it..and withold it they will.

    18 months ago, I queried this same question for months, while the company withheld thousands of dollars and investigated the implications with Tax lawyers and the US tax dept..
    The outcome was, if you are not a resident in the US and generate up to a certain amount of $$$ they can withhold 30%.

    You said:[Our income is not generated in the US. We are publishers and we place promotional materials (advertisements) in our sites on the WWW.]
    [This is exactly why CJ, much wiser on this point than foolish LinkShare, specifically
    (and not by coincidence) terms affiliates as PUBLISHERS and merchants as ADVERTISERS.]


    This is a 'moot' point the the US Tax dept.
    The companies that pay us for putting the ads on our sites reside in the US, our checks are writtin in the US, we're taking money weekly/monthly out of the US, therefore we sign a piece of paper to say we live outside the US,in a country with a tax treaty so we are responsible to taking care of our own taxes.

    It's not a 'biggie'if you lived in the US you'd have to supply your SSN and sign other forms.

    I have noticed certain anomalies, some companies require them, others don't.
    I've put this down to the 'confusing' US individual state laws or the US tax dept, like other systems just hasn't got up to speed with the WWW.
    Either way, I don't lose any sleep by signing a W-8BEN Form, but I do when a company requests one and I don't.

    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  20. #20
    Full Member heisje's Avatar
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    .

    sorry, but you have totally missed the point.
    your income is not generated in the US, but in your country. your web site is produced in your country. you sell advertising space in your country to a US corporation and you get paid in full.

    London Times sells ads in a British newspaper to US corporations. And gets paid without any tax withholding. Toyota sells Japanese cars to US customers without any tax withholding. You sell ad space, you make a charge and you get paid in full.

    if you love completing and submitting forms to tax authorities of foreign governments while you have no such obligation of doing so, just because somebody at LinkShare told you to do so, by all means go on and do so.


    .

    [This message was edited by heisje on February 24, 2003 at 05:44 PM.]

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    I'm not Toyota, or the London Times, even JC Penney.

    As for questioning our rights and exploring the nuances of whether we are publishers or advertisers or trying to convince the US tax Dept they are in error, now that was fun
    been there, done that, got nowhere.

    I don't 'love' submitting forms, but it's just a form heisje, besides, I'm not prepared to get my knickers in a knot over a silly US Tax Dept form that if I don't sign, when requested, 'entitles' them to withhold 30%.

    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Some of you may not have received the email yet, but we do require that all non-US affiliates deliver to LinkShare a completed and signed copy of the W-8BEN tax form, as required by the U.S. government for proper tax withholding and processing. If you have not completed this form, please do so as soon as possible so that there is no interruption to your commission payments.

    For copies of W-8 forms and further information on these requirements, please visit the website for the United States Internal Revenue Service at www.irs.gov. The search boxes on the left side of the homepage can help you reach the forms you need to complete and instructions on how to complete them. Please note that, under certain circumstances as indicated on the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's Website, you may be required to complete and deliver a W-8 ECI.

    Please fill out the appropriate form, sign it, and deliver it to us. You may fax, mail or courier the form to us at the following:

    LinkShare Corporation
    Attention: Affiliate Development Dept.
    215 Park Avenue South, 8th Floor
    New York, New York 10003

    The fax number is 01-646-602-0160. Please feel free to email contact@linkshare.com with any questions or concerns.

    Sarah

  23. #23
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    The form is definately a pain in the rear. What I don't get though is why all of the sudden this year do we have to fill it out?!? I earned roughly the same income last year and was not asked to fill out any such form. Is LinkShare being audited by the IRS? or are they just simply wanting to keep a good chunk of our money?!? What gives??

  24. #24
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    I have repped for US companies and NEVER have heard of such a thing nor has it ever been required.
    And I think it is owed to all non US affiliates to be notified by e mail and not left wondering because of a post in any forum what requirements LS is looking for
    The IRS has no control of my income, only the Canadian government.
    WW

    It was so cold last winter that I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.
    Give a man a fish he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish he spends the day drinking beer in the boat.

  25. #25
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    Sarah,

    Thanks for your post!

    I can understand that LS is asking for the W8 forms so that they can keep their butts covered in case they get audited at some point by IRS. This is fine.

    However, I have a problem with the way LS approached the matter. It is completely unprofessional and unfair to hold on to the affiliate checks ..and then ask for a W8 form. Furthermore, LS did not put in place any mechanism to let the affiliate know what is going on with his/her account. For example I sent my fax last Friday but did not get an E-mail confirming receipt of my W8 form and assuring me that my checks are no longer withheld.

    We all have advertising bills to pay, most of the time in advance. It is cruel for LinkShare to confiscate our checks pending the receipt of a form that we had no knowledge was required. This whole matter left a bad taste in my mouth. It seems to me that LS has no compassion and does not blink before cutting off the livelihood of the affiliate for something that we didn’t do.

    For the sake of preserving whatever reputation and goodwill it has left your company must release all the checks it is holding on to immediately!

    You Sarah, have always been fair and I count on your fairness and objectivity in this matter!


    newman

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