Over the last few weeks Linden Lab have announced some changes for account holders. The first, back on November 11th was that new marketplace merchants would be required to put payment info on file before being able to open a store.
The second was more recently, on November 19th Linden Lab blogged about required tax documentation. These issues aren’t linked but I feel they should be and in doing so, Linden Lab would be killing two birds with one stone.
Wait wait wait, the tax documentation is only for those who have gross income of USD$20,000 and make 200 transactions in a calendar year, right? Well not quite, the tax documentation is certainly required if people meet that threshold, but at that point Linden Lab will file a 1099-K with the IRS, the documentation is required for Linden Lab to be able to file a 1099-K, but Linden Lab can ask for this information anyway.
Amazon do this with Kindle Direct Publishing. I haven’t yet published my international best seller and award winning novel, but if I wanted to do that via KDP, I have to fill out a W8-BEN for Amazon to file. The W8-BEN is the non US Citizen equivalent of a W9 form. When I logged into KDP today I saw this:
The missing account information was soon revealed to me after I clicked Update Now:
You may need to squint to read that so I’ll type it:
“Amazon is required by US tax regulations to request information regarding your tax status under US law. Required US tax identification and information has not yet been submitted. Complete your tax information to begin selling on Amazon.”
Let’s just bold that last sentence to emphasise the point: “Complete your tax information to begin selling on Amazon.” So that’s before I’ve sold a single book, before I’m anywhere near 200 transactions, indeed it prevents me from making 1 transaction.