Update for The Great Deep publication
Frustrated and annoyed yesterday to discover in my mail-box a terse communication from the IRS in the USA to the effect that ‘We have rejected your ITIN application’–this despite the fact I had the documents notarised at the US Consulate in Sydney, filled in the form correctly, sent in all the documentation that was needed. I had applied for an ITIN a couple of years ago when I had several essays published in American anthologies, and was rejected then because I didn’t have the documents correctly notarised, and so I just let the tax come out and forget about trying to get an exception
This time, I went over everything with a fine tooth comb–to no avail. As the US Consulate sighted both my form and copy of my passport, and notarised that document without question, including affixing their official apostille, I thought I was done and dusted. Apparently not. But do you think the IRS has provided any reason for rejecting the application? Not on your nelly, apart from a bland sentence saying ‘the supporting documents don’t support the exception you claimed.’ No way of knowing why, which, how, and the ‘what you need to do’ column gives no clue either as to what was supposedly wrong, because all the boxes I’m supposed to have ticked, I did!
I could write them a letter but as they took weeks and weeks to respond anyway with their form letter, I don’t know if I want to be bothered, as I’m keen for The Great Deep to come out in early August if possible. I think I’ll have to go the way I did originally, and as I know other writer friends do, when they’ve hit the same snag: simply allow the withholding tax to be taken out, and claim it as overseas tax paid on my tax return. One thing I can say–the Australian Tax Office looks really good beside the IRS–much easier to deal with, much less opaque and much more informative!
This is certainly an aspect of self-e-publishing that is not at all pleasant!