FAQ / Tax center & withholding taxes

Q: My country has a 0% (5%, 10%, 15%) treaty agreement with the USA. How does this work?

Once you properly complete the Form W-8BEN we will withhold at the tax rate specified in your country's income tax treaty. Example: If your country has a 10% withholding tax rate, and you earn $150 from U.S. buyers on Dreamstime.com - your net payment from Dreamstime.com will be $135 ($150 - $15 [10% withholding tax] = $135).

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Q: I'm a non-US contributor, what do I need to do in regards to the withholding tax?

You need to access our tax center and provide the required information. Also, you need to obtain an ITIN number (EIN for corporations) by submitting the appropriate form to the US IRS (see the Tax center for more details).

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Q: How do I apply for an US ITIN?

After completing the W-7 form (see link in our tax center) and providing the required documentation as described above, you can apply for an ITIN in any of three ways: 1. by mail through the IRS, with details available here: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96287,00.html 2. using the services of an IRS-authorized Acceptance Agent in your country 3. by visiting an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Frankfurt, London, or Paris, where they will provide in-person help with ITIN applications on a walk-in or appointment basis. http://www.irs.gov/localcontacts/article/0,,id=101292,00.html

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Q: What parts of the W-8BEN must I complete?

All non-US contributors are required to complete Parts I of the W-8BEN and agree to the certification in Part IV before their images will be made available on Dreamstime.com. Important note: If you are eligible for treaty benefits that will reduce or eliminate your withholding taxes and wish to claim these benefits, you MUST complete Part II of the W-8BEN. Contributors will need to provide a US Taxpayer Identification Number (US TIN) on Line 6 of Part I before any treaty claim can be respected.

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Q: Do you have a sample of a W8 form already filled in?

A sample of the W8 form already filled in by a non-US citizen at the following LINK. Please make sure you modify the fields where required according to your case.

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Q: Can I see the list of treaty countries?

Click here for the list of treaty countries.

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Q: Will Dreamstime withhold any taxes for sales made by foreign buyers?

Withholding taxes are applied only for sales coming from US buyers. If you had sales from foreign buyers they will not be subject to this tax.

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Q: I have to complete US tax registrations. How is the US going to tax me?

Dreamstime LLC is required to deduct 30% withholding tax from U.S. source royalties paid to individuals and companies who are not US citizens or US residents. This 30% withholding tax may be reduced or eliminated if you are resident of a treaty country and provide Dreamstime LLC with a properly completed tax form. A list of countries that have tax treaties with the United States and the corresponding tax rates can be found here. In the absence of a form, Dreamstime LLC will deduct 30% withholding tax.

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Q: I'm an US contributor, what do I need to do in regards to the withholding tax?

The withholding tax is applied only to non-US contributors. If you are an US contributor, you still need to access the tax center and fill the appropriate information.

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Q: I'm not a US citizen or resident, and I do not live or work in the USA. Why is Dreamstime.com withholding taxes on my earnings?

Dreamstime LLC (owner of Dreamstime.com) is a U.S. business organization. As such, Dreamstime LLC must comply with U.S. tax laws. These laws mandate withholding taxes on U.S. source royalties paid by U.S. business organizations to people who are not residents or citizens of the United States.

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Q: What kind of earnings are affected by the withholding taxes?

All earnings coming from US buyers for non-US contributors are subject to the US tax withholding procedure. Please note that this is applied as of September 15th 2010 hence all earnings gained previous to this date are NOT affected, regardless of their source.

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Q: Will Dreamstime withhold on each download or on each payment that I request of $100 or more?

Dreamstime will apply the taxes to each sale made to US buyers from non-US citizens therefore the earnings in your account have the tax already withheld. This way, you can request payment as soon as you reach $100. You will be able to see the amount withheld per payment in My Account / Financial activity button after submitting your payment request.

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Q: I am a resident of a treaty country with a 0% agreement; do I actually need to fill out the forms?

Yes. We need to have your properly completed Form W-8BEN in order to apply the treaty exemption or rate reduction.

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Q: How do I complete the tax registration process and claim treaty benefits?

To ensure that these withholding tax laws are properly administered, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has designed Form W-8BEN for purposes of: - Certifying that you or your company is not a US citizen or tax resident, and/or - Claiming reduction in, or exemption from, US withholding tax under an applicable income tax treaty. We're required to obtain a W-8BEN (or other applicable W-8 form) from each contributor who is not a US citizen or resident. View our online W-8BEN here. You should be able to complete this form on-line in a matter of just a few minutes. In a few less common cases, you may be required to complete this process manually. If that happens to be the case for you, please print the appropriate forms and then mail to us. There are printable instructions in PDF format that will help you complete the process. If you are unsure of what applies to you, refer to the W-8BEN instructions and/or consult with a tax advisor.

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Q: I am not a resident of a treaty country. How will I be taxed?

If you are not a resident of a treaty country, we will deduct a 30% withholding tax for all earnings made from US buyers. You still need to fill out the W-8BEN form in our tax center. There is no need to provide an ITIN in this case.

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Q: I have had U.S. withholding taxes taken out of my Dreamstime.com earnings. Will I receive any tax credit in my local country for those withholding taxes?

You may be able to claim a tax benefit in your local country related to any U.S. withholding tax deducted from your earnings. We highly recommend that you consult with your local country tax advisor in regards to this.

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