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Location: Denbighshire, United Kingdom

After deciding to resign from the Civil Service after 25 years, I am now free to pursue my dream of writing. My first book '194 Radio City - The Heart of Liverpool' was published through Lulu in April 2006, and is available from good bookshops and internet suppliers. If you have difficulty getting a copy, please contact me.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lulu Shocker No. 2

Another Lulu shocker yesterday which ended up to be, for me at least, a storm in a teacup.

A letter arrived which stated that although I am not normally a US Taxpayer, a review of the US tax laws shows that the royalties I earn on any copies of '194 Radio City - The Heart of Liverpool' which are sold to destinations in the US are subject to taxation by the United States Internal Revenue Service.


I read a little further and couldn't believe the following paragraph:

"If we do not receive a completed, valid, signed W-8BEN form from you, we will have to withold taxes at the default rate of 30% from your future royalty earnings for this special selling circumstance. Therefore we strongly encourage you to take the time to complete the required documents." The documents may as well have been written in a foreign language for all I know about US tax laws, and they also suggested that we had to send original copies of our ID over to The States.


It turns out all UK Lulu authors received this letter and understandably, yet another forore broke out within the UK Lulu forums, less than 2 weeks since the Global Distribution issue came to light. Lulu came back to us with the usual platitudes (obviously, they have all been on outdated customer service training courses!) which just served to annoy everyone even more. Eventually, it turns out that two important points were left out of the letter which could have prevented all this anger. Firstly, the changes don't take place until January 2007, and secondly, it only applies to people who sell a good number of books to the US.

Not me then.

Lulu - PLEASE, can I get down to some writing now?


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