Useful yet SO DULL • 5 June 2007 • The SnowBlog
Useful yet SO DULL
As this blog has noted over the past few days, there are interesting things about publishing that publishers should spend time on, and there are UTTERLY DULL AND AWFUL things that no-one should be forced to spend time on. The trick, I have noted, is to automate the dull stuff as much as possible. And seeing as I've gone to the bother of automating, or at least documenting, the stuff I find the least enjoyable, I thought I'd share a selection of them with you, lucky readers, so you don't have to go through the UNUTTERABLE AWFULNESS of phoning six different tax offices and foreign consulates to find out how to avoid being taxed twice on foreign royalties. Yaw-n. So, if you sell rights to a foreign publisher, chances are they won't release the advance or royalties money until you have produced a stamped Double Taxation Treaty form proving that you, the UK publisher, are resident in the UK and not running some dodgy dual-residence scam out of Albania.
If the foreign publisher has sent a form, send it to your UK tax office with a polite letter asking them to stamp it and return it. I enclose an addressed envelope - I get the sense that if you don't, it has to be passed on to the Address Writing On Envelope Tax Office Section which is based in Pontefract and which adds another week to the process (or so it seems). Our tax office is as below, but yours might be different. You find the address on correspondance, or on those rather pointless yet colourful yellow paying-in-slip booklets for NI and income tax which never get used because everything is BACSed:
Accounts office Shipley
tel 01274 539321
If they haven't sent a form, phone up the people below and ask to be sent a form. They will expect you to be calling from a foreign country. Made-up Russian accents are optional, however - just ask them for the double taxation treaty form for whichever country you need. Then send it to your tax office.
HM Revenue & Customs
Fitz Roy House
PO Box 46
Telephone: 0845 070 0040 (if calling from inside the UK)
+44 151 210 2222 (if calling from outside the UK)
E-mail: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/email.htm Website: www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr
Here ends the helpful announcement about double taxation. Next up: something about embossing files. I really must get myself one of those extra-nasal trainspotter voices...