Esellerate rips off non-U.S. affiliates

Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:57 am

There seems to be a run on W8BEN requests being sent out to affiliates lately from more companies than usual. This includes being sent to affiliates outside the U.S. This has gotten so tiresome I now send out a form letter in response. All companies except one have backed off once I explained that anyone outside the U.S. with non U.S.-sourced income are not required to fill out any U.S. tax forms, quoting the Google Adsense page on this subject. Two of them are even making arrangements to automate an online form for non-U.S. affiliates to expedite their process. ie. a simple declaration that U.S. tax laws do not apply to their situation.

However, Esellerate has stuck to their guns on this. They made it clear I would not be paid unless I sent in the required W8BEN. I am not going to send personal information that they have no legal right or reason to have on file. But, in order to hold my position on this I had to say good-bye to any earnings still owing to me. That was $67.51. I had no time to make the $100 minimum to be paid in December since they only emailed out this 'new arrangement' on November 28th and subsquently ignored all my emails back to them about it until mid-January. The new rules went into effect on January 1st. Although I made several appeals, the manager of the accounting department was in no way willing to look into the situation or discuss it. Boom, account closed. Money gone.

Unless you're also willing to hand over ultra-personal information to Esellerate, without any legal requirement to do so, you can also kiss your earnings good-bye.
JLB
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:41 am

Re: Esellerate rips off non-U.S. affiliates

Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:51 pm

JLB wrote:There seems to be a run on W8BEN requests being sent out to affiliates lately from more companies than usual. This includes being sent to affiliates outside the U.S. This has gotten so tiresome I now send out a form letter in response. All companies except one have backed off once I explained that anyone outside the U.S. with non U.S.-sourced income are not required to fill out any U.S. tax forms, quoting the Google Adsense page on this subject. Two of them are even making arrangements to automate an online form for non-U.S. affiliates to expedite their process. ie. a simple declaration that U.S. tax laws do not apply to their situation.

However, Esellerate has stuck to their guns on this. They made it clear I would not be paid unless I sent in the required W8BEN. I am not going to send personal information that they have no legal right or reason to have on file. But, in order to hold my position on this I had to say good-bye to any earnings still owing to me. That was $67.51. I had no time to make the $100 minimum to be paid in December since they only emailed out this 'new arrangement' on November 28th and subsquently ignored all my emails back to them about it until mid-January. The new rules went into effect on January 1st. Although I made several appeals, the manager of the accounting department was in no way willing to look into the situation or discuss it. Boom, account closed. Money gone.

Unless you're also willing to hand over ultra-personal information to Esellerate, without any legal requirement to do so, you can also kiss your earnings good-bye.


I can understand you frustration with this situation but the W8 form is a legal requirement. Basically, come tax time, US companies are required to submit the W8 to the IRS and if they don't, then they are penalized. All US based networks require that their US affiliates fill out a W9 form, and non US affiliates fill out a W8 form. Generally, payments are witheld until the affiliate submits this info.

hope this helps shed light on the subject.
stephenh
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:22 pm
Location: New York City

Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:07 pm

The point is that it is NOT a legal requirement. All any of these companies need in a legal sense is a statement from the non-U.S. affiliate saying that they are not a U.S. citizen and do not have any U.S. activities (which basically means they have neither related employees nor equipment in the U.S.) Expecting people from all over the world to deal with U.S. tax forms is beyond ridiculous.

I sent a perfectly legal and fully disclosed document to Esellerate and they said it was insufficient and they still needed the W8BEN. I had already explained it over and over again through a series of emails to them. I had put all this aside lately and gone on to other things. Being reminded makes me angry all over again.

They were not even willing to look at the possibility that they could be wrong, and try to understand all the information I referred them to.

Glad to be rid of them!
JLB
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:41 am

Re: Esellerate rips off non-U.S. affiliates

Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:03 pm

stephenh wrote:All US based networks require that their US affiliates fill out a W9 form, and non US affiliates fill out a W8 form.

Has Google AdSense EVER asked ANY non-U.S. affiliate to fill out a W8 form?

Anyone out there? Please tell us.
AllanGardyne
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6299
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 6:27 am
Location: Winter: Australia Summer: New Zealand

Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:50 am

There's a new privacy bill in development, where networks are required by law to established contractual relationships with affiliates.
http://www.dmnews.com/NY-bill-threatens-online-ads/article/108184/
wisejoker
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:47 am

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