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Personal to business account and taxation.European contributors mainly.


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Hello i was wondering whether any European fellow contributor can shed some light on this since i've been trying to deal with support regarding this matter.

This also deals with taxation so any personal knowledge/experience is welcome.

I was told by shutterstock that once i start a business in my homecountry (Greece in my case) and change from being an individual,i absolutely need to upgrade my personal account to a business one which typically makes me an employee of shutterstock.It involves getting a US EIN by applying an SS-4 form to the IRS first, and filling a new wben-e form afterwards.

I was wondering though if that makes sense for me for taxation reasons in my homeland since the only thing i need as a businessman is to know the originator and the EIN of the entity that pays my monthly commissions through paypal or any other institution, so i can file my invoices properly.

To the eyes of the Greek tax authorities im paid for providing a service to an entity and thats all i need to do as long as i know the originator of that entity.

For example, Shutterstock images cv, 350 fifth avenue etc etc, and their EIN which according to my tax withholding report from 2018 appears to be 98-0242332?

Actually im at a loss as to how here any of you have dealt this this.

Any suggestions welcome (you can pm me also) .

P.S Still waiting for clarification from support if anything comes up ill report here.

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I cannot shed much light on international tax, so best is to get some proper advice from an accountant in your own country. However you wouldn’t be an employee of Shutterstock as your business would have exactly the same relationship as an individual. You can set up a company PayPal account to receive payment.

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All right let me make this more simple then.

Any European that used to be an individual at ss and then formed a company in his homeland and had to go through the process of upgrading his account here from personal to business and apply for EIN at the IRS can shed some light on the procedure?

Taxation is a diferent thing doesnt really matter at this point.

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  • 2 months later...
On 9/18/2019 at 7:38 PM, Geohan said:

Hello i was wondering whether any European fellow contributor can shed some light on this since i've been trying to deal with support regarding this matter.

This also deals with taxation so any personal knowledge/experience is welcome.

I was told by shutterstock that once i start a business in my homecountry (Greece in my case) and change from being an individual,i absolutely need to upgrade my personal account to a business one which typically makes me an employee of shutterstock.It involves getting a US EIN by applying an SS-4 form to the IRS first, and filling a new wben-e form afterwards.

I was wondering though if that makes sense for me for taxation reasons in my homeland since the only thing i need as a businessman is to know the originator and the EIN of the entity that pays my monthly commissions through paypal or any other institution, so i can file my invoices properly.

To the eyes of the Greek tax authorities im paid for providing a service to an entity and thats all i need to do as long as i know the originator of that entity.

For example, Shutterstock images cv, 350 fifth avenue etc etc, and their EIN which according to my tax withholding report from 2018 appears to be 98-0242332?

Actually im at a loss as to how here any of you have dealt this this.

Any suggestions welcome (you can pm me also) .

P.S Still waiting for clarification from support if anything comes up ill report here.

Hi Geohan,

I live in Germany and so I can't say anything about the Greek regulations.

But maybe I can help you at least a bit.

1) First of all it is important for you to find out if there is a "double tax treaty" between Greece and the USA. I'll try to explain.

If you sell pictures on shutterstock, you make a profit. This profit is taxable of course - no matter, where you live. If Greece has a double tax treaty with the USA, you can tax the profit in Greece - your home country. In this case you have to fill out the W8-BEN tax form.
If this is not the case - if this "double tax treaty" between Greece and the USA doesn't exist, you pay the taxes on your profit to the USA directly on each sale, because shutterstock is based there.

2) Individual vs. Business

In Germany you can offer your images as individual. I don't see any reason why this should be different in Greece. In the W8-BEN form you just have to tick "individual" - as long, as the images you are uploading are your images - shot or created by yourself.

 

Shutterstock only want's to know if you pay your taxes correctly. The don't care where you pay them.

 

 

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  • 10 months later...

when a European contributor to Shutterstock  gets a royalty fee paid from Shutterstock: What company address ( and is this European headquarters or the USA headquarters) and VAT number from company Shutterstock have I to mention in my quarterly tax income?

And if European Shutterstock headquarters which country act as royalty payer?

I'm a small business owner and I have the W-8BEN document, that's oké BUT Every quarterly period I have to inform the Belgian tax government about from WHO and WHERE came my income from. Who is the payer of my royalty and what is the address. Only these two I need to know. I emailed already in contact Shutterstock but still yet no answer. Today is last day to report third quarter of the year 2020. Any Belgian or European citizen who is in the same situation or can answer?

Thanks,

Thierry

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To be registered with SS as a business, you need to be registered in your country as a business as well and have a local business registration number. Once you have that, you need to complete IRS form W-8BEN-E (which is a pain) for foreign business entities. A W-8BEN (without the "E") is for foreign individuals, including Sole proprietors.

It's not worth it

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Just call yourself 'self-employed' photographer. You can also choose a business name/company name without registering as a (limited) company. If you're a one-(wo)man business you just fill in the W8-BEN tax form as an individual which means that SS does not deduct tax and that you have to state the (untaxed) SS income as part of your yearly income to your local tax authorities. I assume that Greece, as part of EU, does have a tax treaty with the US to prevent double taxation.

Some people try to make this complex but it's very simple......fill in the W8-BEN form as an individual and you've no need to bother with all that other US tax authorities and numbers stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/20/2020 at 10:54 PM, stevemart said:

Just call yourself 'self-employed' photographer. You can also choose a business name/company name without registering as a (limited) company. If you're a one-(wo)man business you just fill in the W8-BEN tax form as an individual which means that SS does not deduct tax and that you have to state the (untaxed) SS income as part of your yearly income to your local tax authorities. I assume that Greece, as part of EU, does have a tax treaty with the US to prevent double taxation.

Some people try to make this complex but it's very simple......fill in the W8-BEN form as an individual and you've no need to bother with all that other US tax authorities and numbers stuff.

Yes, one-man business with tax obligations, and I have filled in the W8-Ben that oké. But I need an address and which Shutterstock Entity in which country is responsible for doing business with me and payout royalty. Shutterstock answered New-York is not their headquarters and answered we'll send you next year in march a "Form 1042-S". I emailed back to my tax center in my region in Belgium and answered to the tax man that I will if necessary adapt next year the third quarterly 2020 form and they answered me we have nothing to explain further to you. The payout from Shutterstock account is  "Shutterstock Images C.V." but depending their entity if America, Canada or Europe, for me I have to put the info in different grids in tax information, and if I'm wrong when the tax men checking the info I have penalties to pay. In Europe some big corporates like Amazon and co have special advantage tax =0 on their earnings in Europe. ( But they had to go to court and had a special treatment, a one of liberating fee in income in Europe, much lower than regular taxes are). Other not so big companies have to pay taxes on my royalty payout for doing business in Europe if they have a European Headquarter and Shutterstock has a European headquarter in Berlin. Normally when I have a customer I make an invoice with the name company, VAT info address and amount my customer paid to me. Now here with this kind of income "royalty" their is no invoice, assignment and Shutterstock answered we give no taxes advice, but I don't need advices, I just need to know what agreement regulations they have with Europe. Special zero tax agreement, standard tax agreement for companies with a European headquarter or not. If not it is oké and W8-Ben is the rule= no taxes to pay for their customers who bought my content. But in this case I still need to know their address doing business USA, where in USA or their Canada division? And on the hand of that info I place them in the right grid taxtes info income. A company in Europe to pay taxes, or in grid company headquarters in Europe special rate 0€ taxes or grid company from USA no headquarters in Europe via w8BEN also zero taxes. If Shutterstock has a European headquarter division and on my royalty for customers in Europe they sold photos without letting paying their customer taxes, I think Shutterstock will have some problems with the European institutions. But till now from Shutterstock I didn't have had an answer on 1) What is exact name Shutterstock division and what 2) what is the address. If Shutterstock pretend to have millions of contributors, I suppose there must be a least some thousand Belgians Photographers? And I suppose most don't do themself their accounting, but what are they filling in as info? Searching  the address on internet? I did a research on American companies with headquarters in Europe, and big corporates are located in Luxemburg and this is a tax heaven and they transfer royalty income to another division and that division send money to the US for zero taxes...and perhaps is it a question of discretion to keep everything quietly that I have so difficulties to get info on exact division name company, place doing business paying royalty.

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