Saturday, May 30, 2009

Microstock: Accepting the Fate

After one or two days of heated arguments at ShutterStock's forums, most people have come to terms with themselves and start to face the cruel reality that they have to pay the 30% tax to the nice old Uncle Sam.

Threads are coming out to share knowledge about how to file the various paper work and how to get the documents prepared. The paper work is for the lucky one whose countries have a tax treaty with the US and will have a lower tax rate once they go through all the troublesome paperwork. For people like me, living in a country with no tax treaty with the US, the 30% is gone.

I was wondering, the 30% is withholding by IRS only, can we get a tax refund at the end of the year if my income does not reach a certain threshold? I briefly read through IRS website, bad luck, it seems the 30% gone is gone. There is no way that I can get it back.

I am also disappointed that Singapore does not have a relevant tax treaty with the US. Even China has one and with that the tax rate is reduced down to 10%, instead of 30%! Russia is even better, 0%.

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