Sunday, February 21, 2010
Amazon screws up big time
Imagine you're me. You self-publish a book with BookSurge (an Amazon company) in 2008. To date, according to your author account, 52 books have sold on Amazon. 29 of those books sold in 2009, accounting for less than $150 in royalties. Now imagine getting the above W9 from Amazon along with 16 other W9s - in separate envelopes - from various Amazon subsidiaries totaling over $300,000! Yeah! Only $299,850 too much reported to the IRS!
It turns out it was a computer error. That's fairly obvious from the bogus social security number, but still - it gave me quite a start until I investigated.
Amazon says it has corrected the error in its records, hasn't reported the faulty information to the IRS, and will be re-issuing correct W9s.
P.S. If you want to toss me an actual royalty, my book is available at The Beat Handbook.