This is for those who are publishing through Amazon and Smashwords and DO NOT have US bank accounts. As a Canadian citizen, I only have bank accounts here. What this means, is that by law, because both of these companies are operated in the United States, they must retain 30% of my earnings to remit to the IRS. This sucks since I'm not American. I already have to pay the taxes on my earnings to Revenue Canada and I'm getting dinged twice. Let me tell you how hard that sucks!!!
There is a process, that as a foreigner, I can go through to get this money back. It involves filling out forms, providing notarised id, and an awful lot of patience. I haven't started this myself yet but I have started doing some basic research on it. I'm assuming that this is the same process regardless of the country you live in be it UK, Mexico, Australia, etc.
Two places that I found invaluable information are on the Smashwords website at the following link. It's under the heading: Are there tax withholdings on my earnings if I reside outside the United States? in their FAQ section. The link should take you automatically to the right spot on the page.
Another page that I found very helpful was written by a lawyer and the link was posted in the Amazon KDP forums. It's called How to Obtain a U.S. Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) - By Richard P. Clem, Attorney . It's very easy to understand and gives great insight to the process and the article links to all the places that you need to go like the IRS pages.
I'll keep everyone posted on how I make out on my claim to my tax withholdings. I'm going to start once the Christmas rush is over some time in the new year. From what I understand, and I may be wrong, you can make a claim for your tax withholdings on the previous years, so I'll be out nothing if this works.
To see the previous instalment of my self-publishing information, please see this article Self-Publishing Your Patterns and How-to's (Pt. 5)