A Canadian in New York (in a figurative sense), or, Trying to Get my US tax ID number

This is mostly for Canadians writers who have books with US publishers and who work with US agents, but I figured I’d post it here in case it’s of interest to anyone else.

One of the first things my agent had me do after we sold SHADOWS was apply for a US tax ID number, also known as a ITIN. About a week ago, I received a notice that I had been turned down because I had failed to provide the tax treaty number they needed, so off I went to get another set of true certified documents and then off they went back to the IRS.

However, something was tickling my brain last night, so this morning I decided to call the IRS to ask a couple of questions. I was put through to a very helpful US tax lawyer who basically told me I had done it all wrong (I had run the original form by a Canadian accountant, who stared at it blankly and said it looked okay to him).

Here’s the scoop: Canadians must get certified true copies of their identification from US notaries. A certified true copy from a Canadian notary will automatically result in a rejected W-7 because Canada was not at the Hague convention. Whodathunk?

I know a couple of writers who have recently signed with US agents and are subbing to US publishers, so I figured I’d post this information to save them having to wait longer than necessary in getting this important little number!

And, if you have questions, the gentleman I spoke to at the IRS was tremendously helpful, so giving them a call is definitely a good idea.

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