Smashwords and Tax Problems. Oh boy!

Update 11th August:  I’ve been paid!  [insert happy dance].  It must have been an errant dash or something as everything has now gone through.  Yah for me (and my bank balance).  Thanks SW!!

Smashwords won’t pay me what they owe me.  [insert frustrated sad face]  Something about my TIN and name not matching, except that’s not the issue because the error code they have given me from the IRS is that the ‘TIN cannot [even] be found’.

Huh?  I never had a problem before with SW paying me.  And I definitely DO have an EIN.  I have the IRS letter in my hot little hand right now.  It’s the same one I’ve given to Amazon, Createspace and I’ve never had a problem.  What do you mean it can’t be found?  What gives SW?

According to the IRS website, the error code ‘TIN cannot be found’ usually occurs when there is an extra space or dash or something in the field which should only contain your nine digit number (and the dash I guess because that’s how it appears on my correspondence).

Confused yet?  I know I am.

So I’ve re-entered the number in the field on the SW Account Payee page.  Who knows if that will fix things.  But between you and me, I’m not confident.  Which means I won’t get my $700 in my Paypal account any time soon.  [insert sadder face].

I don’t even know how to fix this problem.  Is it something I’ve done?  Something I didn’t do?  Have the IRS broken up with me without telling me?

And even if I don’t get paid this quarter does that mean this issue is going to keep on and on and I’ll never get paid?  Sigh.  Amazon exclusivity is looking better every day …


  1. says

    Ok, I apologize if I’m going to confuse the issue here, but I would look at the original message you received from Smashwords. I presume you supplied them with a W2 form – or filled in the data for such a form online.

    One of the validations done is that the name they are paying matches the name on the W2. If they are different, you may be rejected on that basis. The payment will be held until the issue is fixed. (I’d check that pen names etc haven’t crept in where your individaul or company name should be….)

    With a $700 payment you may have triggered additional validation since you have crossed the 1099 threshhold…(I think its $600).

    Again, I apologize if I’m sending you down a tangent…This information doesn’t come from dealing with Smashwords (though one day I hope to) but from setting up accounting systems in the US over many years…

    Good Luck, Tracey!

    • Tracey says

      Thanks Centsable,

      I have provided them with the required forms, but I’m sure (although who can never be sure LOL) that I’ve used the same name on everything. I tried emailing Smashwords but they have not yet replied. I may try again at a later date. I’m sure it’s something minor, a missing dash or extra character somewhere but not knowing is confusing :)

      I may even have to ring the IRS (shudder) again to make sure everything is correct their end.

      t :)

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