Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Pro Business Discussion => Topic started by: luxborealis on December 03, 2018, 05:38:10 pm

Title: US IRS W7 and Taxpayer Ident. Number for a Canadian - HELP!
Post by: luxborealis on December 03, 2018, 05:38:10 pm
If you are a Canadian who has had to register for a Taxpayer ID and complete a W7 (W9?) form, I would appreciate any recommendations based on your experiences.
 - Did you use an agent? If so, who? And, was it worth it? If not, in retrospect, do you feel you should have?
 - Did you send original documents? Any problems with that?
 - Were you required to complete a W-8 BEN or any other docs?
 - What else should I know?

Background: I’ve been contracted by a major US gallery for some photographs and wish to be paid.
Title: Re: US IRS W7 and Taxpayer Ident. Number for a Canadian - HELP!
Post by: Ian99 on January 07, 2019, 11:10:28 am
Terry, you have had no response to your question so I will chip in with my poor understanding of the issue. I did Canadian taxes, personal and corporate for about 5 years and that included 3 cases of joint US and Canadian filing.

First, get some proper advice – HR Block is surprisingly good for their price and can at least get you started.

Read the following link:

If at all possible avoid getting dragged into the maw of cross border taxation. Here is a situation where having a corporation perform the photo work is far easier than a simple person.

All the galleries I have worked with have done their best to avoid paying you anything and will use any excuse. I hope you are not in this situation because you have bigger problems to deal with.

We don’t know the length of the gig so I am guessing here, but based upon the “americanlaw” link above you are likely to be a “non-resident alien” as far as the US is concerned and are therefore NOT taxable in the USA.

This comment is based on the “Substantial Presence Test” since I doubt that you spent more than 31 days on this gig in the US. If the job is just selling them prints rather than being in the US working for the gallery then you are not taxable in the US anyway (except perhaps for sales tax). Do all you can to avoid W7s and ID numbers, you do not need them.

If my guess is correct, then your issue is then getting the gallery to accept a statement that you are a “non-resident alien”. HR Block should be able to help you with a proper declaration.

Note that even if you avoid US taxes, you are supposed to file your Canadian taxes on your World-wide income, so you should be reporting your US earnings on your T1 or T2.

Good Luck.   
Title: Re: US IRS W7 and Taxpayer Ident. Number for a Canadian - HELP!
Post by: luxborealis on January 11, 2019, 08:01:32 pm
Thanks, Ian. You raise a good point about selling prints, and performing a ‘service’, so it would seem I would/should not be required to submit a W7. I will be in touch with the gallery to explain this.