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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 26th, 2006
    Tax- Linkshare signup with non-US company
    I want to sign up with Linkshare as an affiliate using my UK company. Anyone got any experience with this and how to fill in the tax forms? Specifically, the W-8 and W-9 tax witholding forms. As far as I know, I shouldn't have to pay tax in the US since my company pays it in the UK. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    I like traffic lights
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
    There's a lot of misinformation circling in the affiliate industry, with US merchants saying you HAVE to fill out a W8 form. This is incorrect.

    If the income is foreign sourced, there is no tax payable in the USA and no need for any withholding tax or anything like that.

    The definition for e-commerce of "foreign-sourced" is when the company and it's beneficiaries are NOT us citizens or resident, and the company has no assets or employees in the USA. In these circumstances, even though the merchant is paying you in US dollars, you are earning commissions form them OUTSIDE OF THE USA.

    If you LEASE a web server in the USA you are still considered to be earning foreign source income by the IRS. If you OWN a web server in teh USA they consider you to be working IN the USA and tax is payable.

    A W8 form is not required for foreign-source income earners. All that is required, legally, is a letter sent to the merchant certifying that you are not US based, etc, etc. Google even go further - you check a box in your on-linne application to certify you are foreign-sourced...

    "For non-U.S. taxpayers, this information includes without limitation either a signed certification that the taxpayer does not have U.S. Activities (as described on the Google AdSense: Tax Information Page located at, or such other URL as Google may provide from time to time) or a fully-completed Form W-8 or other form, which may require a valid U.S. tax identification number, as required by the U.S. tax authorities." makes for good reading.

    If, on the other hand, you DO have assets in the USA, then you WILL be wanting to fill out a W8 because then you can have tax withheld by the Merchant and you can them claim that tax as already being paid, when you do your tax return in the UK (since the USA and the UK have a tax treaty allowing for tax credits to avoid double-taxation).

    IANAL. YMMV et al applies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    January 26th, 2006
    Thanks for the info Drewbert, this confirms what I thought - good point about Adsense. Time to get signed up.

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