Taxpayer Identification Requirements for AbeBooks Booksellers

AbeBooks is required by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), the United States tax authority, to report annual gross sales information for U.S. sellers.  The information is reported on Form 1099-K. According to IRS regulations, Form 1099-K will only be filed for sellers who exceed both $20,000 in gross sales and 200 transactions within a calendar year. However, to ensure full compliance with IRS regulations, AbeBooks policy requires that all sellers meet the following requirements, regardless of sales volume:

  • U.S. taxpayers are required to provide their Taxpayer Identification Information to AbeBooks via Form W-9.
  • Non-U.S. taxpayers with a U.S. seller address, paid in U.S. funds, with a U.S. bank account on file, or otherwise presumed to be in the U.S., are required to provide IRS Form W-8BEN to AbeBooks in order to remain exempt from U.S. tax reporting requirements.

To provide the required information to AbeBooks, simply follow the steps below.

  1. Sign on to your AbeBooks account with your email address and password.
  2. In the ‘My Personal Information’ section of the Members Menu, click ‘Account Details’.
  3. Click the ‘U.S. taxpayer Identification’ link to enter the taxpayer identification interview.

The taxpayer interview will guide you through completing Form W-9 or W-8BEN. Don’t worry if you’re not sure which form applies to you; the answers you provide during the interview will automatically determine this for you.

Note: The taxpayer identification interview is located on a page hosted by Amazon. You will be directed to this page to complete this interview and directed back to the AbeBooks website once you are done.

For detailed instructions on completing either Form W-9 or Form W-8BEN, please visit the IRS website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is AbeBooks asking for this?

AbeBooks is required to file IRS Form 1099-K to report annual gross sales information for U.S. taxpaying sellers. Non-U.S. taxpayers with a U.S. bookseller address, paid in U.S. funds, with a U.S. bank account on file, or otherwise presumed to be in the U.S., are required to provide IRS Form W-8BEN to AbeBooks in order to remain exempt from U.S. tax reporting requirements.

For more information about IRC 6050W, please see the IRS website.

Where in the Internal Revenue Code can I read about these regulations?

The regulations are under section 6050W of the Internal Revenue Code. Please see the IRS website for more information. Please be aware all the information is only available in English.

Do the new regulations apply to all AbeBooks sellers?

All AbeBooks U.S. taxpaying sellers and any non-U.S. sellers with a U.S. bookseller address, paid in U.S. funds, with a U.S. bank account on file, or otherwise presumed to be in the U.S., are required to provide taxpayer identification information to AbeBooks.

How do I provide AbeBooks with the required information?

To provide your information to AbeBooks, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Sign on to your AbeBooks account with your email address and password.
  2. In the ‘My Personal Information’ section of the Members Menu, click ‘Account Details’.
  3. Click the ‘U.S. taxpayer Identification’ link to enter the taxpayer identification interview.
  4. Complete the online taxpayer identification interview.

What happens if I don’t provide the required information?

If you are identified as a seller who is required to provide valid taxpayer identification information but you fail to do so, your selling privileges may be suspended.

What can I expect from AbeBooks?

All AbeBooks U.S. taxpaying sellers and any non-U.S. sellers with a U.S. bookseller address, paid in U.S. funds, with a U.S. bank account on file, or otherwise presumed to be in the U.S., must supply AbeBooks with taxpayer identification information.

U.S. taxpaying sellers must provide the required information via IRS Form W-9; non-U.S. taxpaying sellers must provide the required information via IRS Form W-8BEN.

All new sellers required to complete tax information are asked to provide the information within the Bookseller Application. Already registered sellers who are later identified as requiring the information, i.e. due to an address change, will be notified by AbeBooks, and will have a ‘To-do’ list action item entitled ‘Complete U.S. taxpayer identification interview’.

If requested to do so, please provide the required information as soon as possible. It only takes a few minutes and then it will be removed from your “To Do” list. simply follow the steps below:

  1. Sign on to your AbeBooks account with your email address and password.
  2. In the ‘My Personal Information’ section of the Members Menu, click ‘Account Details’.
  3. Click the ‘U.S. taxpayer Identification’ link to enter the taxpayer identification interview.
  4. Complete the online taxpayer identification interview.

Note: The taxpayer identification interview is located on a page hosted by Amazon. You will be directed to this page to complete this interview and directed back to the AbeBooks website once you are done.

I am not located in the U.S. and I don’t pay U.S. taxes. Do I still need to provide my taxpayer identification information?

IRS regulations require AbeBooks to report on all U.S tax-paying sellers; in order to remain exempt from those requirements, all non-U.S. sellers with a U.S. bookseller address, paid in U.S. funds, with a U.S. bank account on file, or otherwise presumed to be in the U.S., must supply AbeBooks with taxpayer identification information.

To provide your information to AbeBooks, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Sign on to your AbeBooks account with your email address and password.
  2. In the ‘My Personal Information’ section of the Members Menu, click ‘Account Details’.
  3. Click the ‘U.S. taxpayer Identification’ link to enter the taxpayer identification interview.
  4. Complete the online taxpayer identification interview.

What is my Tax Identification Status?

Your Tax Identification Status will be displayed in ‘Account Details’, which is located in the ‘My Personal Information’ section of your Members Menu.

Tax Identification Statuses:

  • Complete U.S. taxpayer identification interview – No tax form received. Complete the online taxpayer identification interview.
  • Tax form submitted and is pending verification – We are processing your submitted tax form. You will be notified if any further action is required.
  • Tax form verified – Your submitted tax form has been verified. No further action is required.

Do these regulations apply to non-profit organizations?

Yes, these regulations apply to both non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Can I contact Customer Support to provide the information over the phone or in email?

No, Customer Support cannot collect this information. To help protect the security of your taxpayer identification information, please do not disclose it by email or over the phone.

Why is my Tax Identification Status invalid?

Your tax information is validated by the IRS, who does not provide AbeBooks with the reason your tax identification information was returned as invalid. Please contact the IRS for assistance.

Can I send you a paper copy of these forms?

In order to accurately and efficiently process your taxpayer identification information, forms will only be accepted through the online taxpayer interview.

To provide your information to AbeBooks, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Sign on to your AbeBooks account with your email address and password.
  2. In the ‘My Personal Information’ section of the Members Menu, click ‘Account Details’.
  3. Click the ‘U.S. taxpayer Identification’ link to enter the taxpayer identification interview.
  4. Complete the online taxpayer identification interview.

Once I complete the form, what will happen with my information?

U.S. sellers: Once you’ve completed the online W-9 form, the information provided is forwarded electronically to the IRS for validation purposes only. If validation fails, you will be notified by email that corrections are required.

Once the information has been successfully validated, it will be held on file, for use by AbeBooks in filing Form 1099-K as required.

Non-U.S. sellers: The information provided via the online W-8BEN form will be held on file and provided to the IRS if required (e.g., during an audit to demonstrate why a Form 1099-K was not filed).

Can AbeBooks help me with my tax return?

While we are committed to helping sellers understand the requirements under these tax regulations, we do not provide tax guidance. Please contact a tax professional.

NON-U.S. Taxpaying Sellers

What is Form W-8BEN?

W-8BEN is the official IRS form for sellers to declare that they are not U.S. taxpayers, and therefore not subject to IRS (Internal Revenue Service) reporting requirements. IRS regulations require AbeBooks to report on all U.S. tax-paying sellers; in order to remain exempt from those requirements, all non-U.S. sellers who meet any one (or more) of the following criteria must provide AbeBooks with IRS Form W-8BEN:

  • Sellers who use a U.S. address;
  • Sellers who are paid in U.S. funds;
  • Sellers with a U.S. bank account on file;
  • Or sellers who are otherwise presumed to be in the U.S.

If I have multiple seller accounts will you require tax information for each of them?

Yes, if you have more than one account, we will require your taxpayer identification information for each account.

Does form W-8BEN affect my personal tax payments or any other aspects of my existing tax reporting processes?

The Form W-8BEN is an official IRS (U.S. Tax Authority) information collection and reporting form. For additional information on Form W-8BEN and the tax reporting process, please contact a tax professional.

U.S. Taxpayers

What is Form W-9?

The Form W-9 is an official IRS (U.S. Tax Authority) form and is used to capture necessary tax information for tax reporting purposes.  The information collected includes your name, taxpayer identification number (TIN), tax classification, and address.  This information is used to facilitate the Form 1099-K reporting.

A TIN is required by the IRS for the administration of tax laws. Your TIN is either an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a Social Security Number (SSN).

Learn how to obtain an EIN at the IRS website.

What does legal name mean?

For Form 1099-K reporting purposes, your legal name is the name you use for filing your federal income tax returns, or the legal business name used with the IRS to obtain an EIN on Form SS-4. The legal name on file with AbeBooks must match the legal name on file with the IRS. If you do not know what legal name the IRS has on file for your business, please contact a tax professional or the IRS.

I received an email stating that my tax identity information is invalid. I thought I provided my correct information. Can you tell me why it came back invalid?

Your tax information is validated by the IRS, who does not provide a reason to AbeBooks as to why your tax identification information came back as invalid. Here are some things to consider:

  • If you are completing the tax identity information as an individual U.S. taxpayer, use the information that appears on your Social Security card.
  • If you are completing the information as a business U.S. taxpayer, use the name that appears on your CP575A notice from the IRS if you are providing a business name.
  • Misspelling your name, not including your middle initial or middle name, or entering an incorrect Tax Identification Number may cause tax identity information to not match to IRS records.

How and when will I know each year whether Form 1099-K will be filed for my seller account?

We will track your gross sales and number of transactions, and if they both exceed the IRS reporting thresholds ($20,000 and 200 transactions) by the end of a calendar year, we will send Form 1099-K to you, as well as to the IRS, early the following year.

You will also be able to tell if you have exceeded the thresholds by monitoring your gross sales and number of transactions.

Is the $20,000 calculated based on net sales or gross sales?

As required by the IRS regulations, the $20,000 is calculated based on unadjusted gross sales. Gross sales are defined as total sales, including shipping, unadjusted for fees or refunds. The amount the buyer paid for an order is the gross sales amount for the order, even if a rebate applies or the order is later refunded.

Doesn’t the gross sales amount change if I refund an order?

No. When you make a sale, the order total becomes a permanent part of your gross sales for the year. Even if you later refund the entire amount a buyer paid for an order, the order total is still included in your gross sales calculation. The IRS regulations require that no adjustments to gross transaction amounts be made. It will be important that you maintain appropriate records to adjust the Form 1099-K reported amounts. Please seek advice from a tax professional to understand the appropriate adjustments when preparing your tax return.

Will you file Form 1099-K for my seller account if I only exceed one of the two thresholds?

No. Unless you exceed both thresholds ($20,000 in gross sales and 200 transactions) we will not file Form 1099-K for you.

If I have multiple seller accounts that exceed the IRS reporting thresholds when the account totals are combined, but that do not exceed the thresholds as individual seller accounts, will you file Form 1099-K for my combined seller accounts?

Yes. Accounts with the same TIN will be filed on a single Form 1099-K as required by the new regulations.

Will I get a copy of Form 1099-K?

If your gross sales for a calendar year exceed $20,000 and you have more than 200 transactions in that same year, you will get a copy of Form 1099-K early in the following year in the mail.

Does Form 1099-K affect my quarterly tax payments or any other aspects of my existing tax reporting processes?

Form 1099-K is an annual information return. For information about how Form 1099-K may affect your existing tax reporting process, please contact a tax professional.