Confused with the tax treaty and w-8ben form
Posted: Monday, December 02, 2019 3:55:04 AM
This quote is from the tax treaty of my country (Romania) with US and is from an article regarding royalties.

Quote from Article 12:
(1) Royalties derived by a resident of one of the Contracting States from sources within the other
Contracting State may be taxed by both Contracting States.
(2) Royalties derived by a resident of one of the Contracting States from sources within the other
Contracting State shall not be taxed by the other Contracting State at a rate in excess of 10 percent of
the gross amount of cultural royalties or at a rate in excess of 15 percent of the gross amount of
industrial royalties.
(3) For purposes of this article-
(a) Cultural royalties are payments of any kind made as consideration for the use of, or
the right to use, copyrights of literary, artistic, or scientific works, including copyrights of motion
picture films or films or tapes used for radio or television broadcasting;
(b) Industrial royalties are payments of any kind made as consideration for the use of, or
the right to use, patents, designs, models, plans, secret processes or formulae, trademarks, or
other like property or rights, or for knowledge, experience, or skill (know-how);
(c) Cultural royalties and industrial royalties include gains derived from the sale,
exchange, or other disposition of any such property or rights to the extent that the amounts
realized on such sale, exchange, or other disposition for consideration are contingent on the
productivity, use, or disposition of such property or rights.


My questions are:

1. Which type of royalty applies to me as a designer on zazzle? (the cultural one?)
2. If I fill the w-8ben form and is approved, will I still have to pay tax to the IRS since the percentage mentioned in the article is 10 (or 15)? Or I'll have to pay tax only in my country?
3. Can I write my foreign tax number instead of ITIN on the w-8ben in order to be approved?

I hope to have my questions answered because I'm very confused at this moment Grin
Posted: Monday, December 02, 2019 4:49:35 AM
Hi Andreea

1. According to your posted IRS info it's 12(2) (cultural).

In part II/10 write:

article and paragraph: 12(2)
rate: 10%
type of income: Royalties for the use of artistic works
additional conditions (this is important, write as is, my version was accepted):
Creation of artistic works (designs) sold on the Zazzle online webstore on a range of goods

2. Yes, Zazzle will withhold 10% from your royalty earnings for US taxes according to 12(2). Not sure if this also affects affiliate income, because in Italy we have 0% as a rate and there is no withhold on any earning in my case. You have to check it out by yourself when you get your payments. In all cases it should not exceed the 10%. The tax declaration for your country is your job.

3. You don't need ITIN as a foreigner living outside of the US, fill-in your Romanian tax number.

That should do the trick. You will get notified by Z when it has been approved (what shouldn't be a problem). It takes a few weeks, tho. Note: Sometimes it happens that the full withhold of 30% is taken by mistake on your first payment, even if the form has been approved. Should that happen, contact Zazzle support and they will credit the difference on your next payment.

In my case it worked fine at first attempt.

Welcome and good luck!
Posted: Monday, December 02, 2019 5:16:54 AM
Thanks for all the info Smile
Posted: Monday, December 02, 2019 5:20:44 AM
You're welcome. Happy designing!
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