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Questions in Royalties & Sales

Can you provide me with the names of customers who bought my book?
I found out a bookstore ordered a large quantity of my books. I want to know if this order has shipped. Can I call iUniverse and find out?
My friend said he ordered my book. Why don't I see this book order counted in the Monthly Sales History Report or the Book Sales Activity Report?
How do I verify my direct deposit was posted to my account? Do I get a receipt from iUniverse?
I sent in my direct deposit information. Why did I receive a check?
How do I set up others as royalty participants from my book?
Can other contributors access my reports?
I didn't find the answer to my question. Who can I ask?
Why is it important to give iUniverse my tax ID or Social Security Number?
Do I earn royalties when I buy my own books?
How does iUniverse calculate royalty payments?
I have less than $75 in my earned royalty account. I know my publishing agreement states that this will be carried over to the next quarter. Can I get an early payment sent to me so I don't have to wait another three months? Is there a minimum royalty payment?
On what types of book sales do I earn royalties?
When are my royalties paid?
When if my EFT information updated?
How does iUniverse compare to the rest of the publishing industry in the area of royalty statements?
I have a general question about my royalty statement. Where can I go to get the answer?
I have an agent who represents me. Can iUniverse give me royalty information directly, or do I have to contact my agent?
I need to change my address. How can I do that?
Will I still see a royalty statement if there were no sales in a month or quarter?
When will my royalties be posted to myUniverse?
Why does it take so long for iUniverse to post sales from Ingram or other retail bookstores?
A bookstore ordered copies of my book at the end of last month, but those sales aren't appearing on my monthly statement. Why?
I would like to refer a friend to iUniverse. How do I go about doing this?
What can the myUniverse account do for me? 

General Tax Information

What tax information can iUniverse provide for me?
When does iUniverse mail the 1099-MISC or 1042-S?
Why didn’t I get a 1099-MISC this year?
If I was paid under $10.00 in royalties, do I have to report it on my income tax?
Why is the income stated on my 1099-MISC or 1042-S form not equal to the sum of my royalty payments for the calendar year?
When will iUniverse post Quarter 4 royalties so I can complete my income tax return?

Tax Form Submisison

I submitted a Form W-9 or a Form W-8BEN in the past. Why am I being asked for it again?
I opted-out of submitting my tax information. Why does iUniverse continue to request my tax information?
If my company should receive the royalties instead of me, as the author, what do I need to do?
My company’s W-9 was accidentally added to my individual account (or vice versa). How can I correct this?

International Authors

I am an international author, what do I need to do regarding the tax forms and ID numbers?
How do I know if my country has a tax treaty with the United States that allows me to claim a lower rate of withholding?
What if I don’t have an ITIN?
What if I don’t have an EIN?
How do I file Form W-7 with the IRS (to obtain an ITIN)?

1099-MISC

What is a 1099-MISC form?
Who will receive a 1099-MISC form? 
What if there is an error on the 1099-MISC form? Is it too late to make changes?
The amount on my 1099-MISC form doesn’t match my checks; what is wrong?
One of my checks was not received during the tax year. May I request a corrected 1099-MISC?
Why isn’t there a “Recipient’s Identification Number” on my 1099-MISC form?
The “Recipient’s Identification Number” on my 1099-MISC form is incorrect; what do I do?
The “Recipient’s name” on my 1099-MISC form is incorrect; what do I do?
The “Recipient address” on my 1099-MISC form is incorrect; what do I do?
I cannot locate my 1099-MISC form; how can I request a copy?
Where can I find more information about my tax forms?

Can you provide me with the names of customers who bought my book?

Industry practice, consumer privacy rules and iUniverse business policy do not allow us to provide this information to you or any other person. While we, and our retail partners, protect the identities of individual customers, we do provide you with as much detail as is allowed by the law in the Monthly Sales History Report.

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I found out a bookstore ordered a large quantity of my books. I want to know if this order has shipped. Can I call iUniverse and find out?

When an order is placed directly through iUniverse, as soon as the order ships you will be able to view the order details in the Sales Activity Detail on your myUniverse account. If an order is placed through Ingram, the order details will appear in the Sales Activity Detail at the end of Ingram's monthly accounting period.

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My friend said he ordered my book. Why don't I see this book order counted in the Monthly Sales History Report or the Sales Activity Detail Report?

The answer to this question depends on where your friend ordered the book. If your friend ordered from iUniverse, then the order will appear as soon as the book has been shipped. If your friend ordered from a bookstore or retailer, the order will appear as soon as we receive monthly sales reports from our partners. It is also important to note that Amazon and Barnes & Noble sometimes purchase and warehouse copies of your book. You may see a Barnes & Noble order for two copies of your book; those copies will be held in inventory at Barnes & Noble until customers purchase them. You receive royalty on the initial order from Barnes & Noble and therefore won't see a sale if your friend purchases a book that is held in retailer inventory.

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How do I verify my direct deposit was posted to my account? Do I get a receipt from iUniverse?

You are welcome to call your financial institution to verify that the deposit has been posted to your account. Direct deposit, which provides an efficient way to get your royalties to you, can take up to five days to post to your account.

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I sent in my direct deposit information. Why did I receive a check?

We make every effort to quickly process all direct deposit forms we receive. However, if we did not receive the completed form in time for the current quarter's dispersal, the direct deposit will not begin until the next payment cycle.

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How do I set up others as royalty participants from my book?

During the submission process, we provide you with the opportunity setup each individual or entity that will receive a portion of the royalties generated from the sale of your published book.

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Can other contributors access my reports?

Only the primary contact can access the data from your reports. Nonprimary contributors cannot access the data at the present time.

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I didn't find the answer to my question. Who can I ask?

Send your question to royalties@iuniverse.com. We will respond as quickly as possible. To help us expedite and provide a complete answer to your question, please include the following information in the text of your message:

  • Author name (Include full name, as well as any pen name used
  • iUniverse ID (located on the top right-hand corner of your royalty statement
  • Agent name (if applicable)
  • Title and ISBN of your book
  • Current mailing address

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Why is it important to give iUniverse my tax ID or Social Security Number?

We require your Social Security number to comply with the government’s tax regulations. Since you have the opportunity to earn additional income from book sales, the government requires that you pay taxes on the total earnings. The W-9 form allows you to provide a Taxpayer Identification Number, or TIN. If you are receiving royalties for your book as an individual, your TIN is your Social Security number. If the royalties for your book are going to a business, a business account must be created and W-9 should be supplied for the business that includes an employer identification number instead of your personal Social Security number.

If you do not supply your taxpayer ID number, we are required to withhold taxes at the rate of 28 percent of total earnings.

If you supply us with your taxpayer ID at a later date, we cannot return the withheld tax money because we do not retain it — it is passed on to the government by law. You can speak to a tax professional about how to report this at the end of the tax year in order to receive a tax return for any additional amount that you are due.

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Do I earn royalties when I buy my own books?

All author purchases are royalty exclusive. The author does, however, receive discounts on all purchases.

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How does iUniverse calculate royalty payments?

Royalty percentages for printed, electronic (e-book), or audio copies of your book are as follows:

  • 25 percent of the retail price for sales of printed copies or audiobook copies directly through the iUniverse website bookstore.
  • 10 percent of the retail price for sales of printed copies or audiobook copies through one of our distribution channels, such as Amazon.*
  • 50 percent of digital net received for each e-book copy sold. Visit our FAQs about Digital Formatting and Distribution for more information related to royalties regarding e-books.

*Please note: An order placed by a retailer directly with iUniverse still counts as the 10 percent royalty because trade discounts are being applied. The 25 percent royalty rate only applies to consumer orders placed with iUniverse.

You should also be aware that the largest retailers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon, place orders for iUniverse titles through Ingram; those orders will appear as wholesale sales on your royalty statement. 

Here's an example of a common sales transaction of a printed book:

  • The retail price (list price) for your softcover book is $15.95.
  • Your iUniverse royalty rate for retail transactions is 10 percent. 
  • A retailer, such as Amazon, places an order for your book through Ingram Book Company, a wholesaler. 
  • Ingram then resells the book to the retailer.   

Your royalty on this retail sale is calculated as follows:

Source Softcover list price Royalty % Royalty Earned
Amazon.com $15.95 10% $1.60

 

If your book is sold directly through the iUniverse bookstore, you receive a higher royalty amount.  Your royalty on this sale directly through the iUniverse bookstore is calculated as follows:

Source Softcover list price Royalty % Royalty Earned
iUniverse website $15.95 25% $3.99

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I have less than $75 in my earned royalty account. I know my publishing agreement states that this will be carried over to the next quarter. Can I get an early payment sent to me so I don't have to wait another three months? Is there a minimum royalty payment?

Minimum Threshold for Payments

If your quarterly determination of royalties in any calendar year exceeds seventy-five ($75) dollars, the payment shall be issued according to the quarterly payment schedule. If the quarterly royalties due are equal to or less than seventy-five ($75) dollars, the quarterly royalty amount will be carried forward and added to the subsequent quarterly royalty amount due. Until cumulative author royalties exceed seventy-five ($75) dollars, each quarterly author royalties will be carried forward and added to the cumulative author royalties. Cumulative author royalties at the end of a calendar year will be issued by February 28.

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On what types of book sales do I earn royalties?

You will earn royalties on all books sold, except for author and co-author purchases. Because we offer significant discounts to authors for book purchases, these sales are royalty exclusive.

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When are my royalties paid?

Author royalties are calculated according to the following calendar quarters: 

  • January 1 - March 31 (payment sent by May 31)
  • April 1 - June 30 (payment sent by August 31)
  • July 1 - September 30 (payment sent by November 30)
  • October 1 - December 31 (payment sent by February 28 of the subsequent year)

iUniverse will process your royalty payment, according to our publishing agreement, 60 days after the end of each quarter. For example, in the first quarter (January 1 - March 31), we will post your royalty statement and send your payment, if applicable, by May 31. You may also view the royalty disbursement schedule by logging in to your myUniverse account.

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When is my EFT information updated?

We update new or modified EFT information on January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31. To ensure your royalty funds are transferred to your preferred account, please make sure your account information is accurate prior to these dates. Changes made after these dates will be reflected on the following pay cycle.

Please note: You must reference a U.S.-based bank routing in order to take advantage of EFT.

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How does iUniverse compare to the rest of the publishing industry in the area of royalty statements?

Almost all traditional publishers pay royalties and provide sales and royalty information on a semi-annual basis. Very few publishers—large or small—provide regular sales details to authors. So, because iUniverse pays royalties on a quarterly basis, authors receive their earnings more quickly from iUniverse than they would from a traditional publisher.

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I have a general question about my royalty statement. Where can I go to get the answer?

If you have questions, please e-mail royalties@iuniverse.com.

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I have an agent who represents me. Can iUniverse give me royalty information directly, or do I have to contact my agent?

Some publishing agreements state your agent is to receive all correspondence and statements. In this situation, we cannot provide any information to you. Please contact your agent.  If your publishing agreement states you are to receive your information directly, we will post your royalty statement within your myUniverse account.

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I need to change my address. How can I do that?

You can easily change your contact information or e-mail address at any time by logging in to your myUniverse account and visiting the myAccount page.

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Will I still see a royalty statement if there were no sales in a month or quarter?

No. We currently are not displaying statements for periods with no sales.

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When will my royalties be posted to myUniverse?

iUniverse will post your quarterly royalty statement and pay royalties according to the royalty disbursement schedule in your myUniverse account. If your royalties are less than $75 in a given period, iUniverse will hold your payment until you reach the minimum of $75. However, if you sign up for our convenient direct deposit program, we will deposit royalty payments for any amount (including amounts less than $75) directly into your bank account.

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Why does it take so long for iUniverse to post sales from Ingram or other retail bookstores?

All companies have a month-end close process to collect and validate financial information, and iUniverse is no exception. At the close of each month, iUniverse must collect sales and printing information from each of our business partners. We reconcile book orders and book sales with printing information to ensure that every single copy that is printed is accounted for. Then, we consolidate sales from many different sources into a single monthly statement for each author.

Collecting information from our partners generally takes one week. It takes an additional two weeks for the iUniverse finance department to reconcile the information and formally close the month. Once the financial information is consolidated, it takes another week to prepare and post monthly statements. It is important to remember that the monthly statements are not final, however, because information posts to them as it is received. This process may take time, but we think it's essential to provide you with information that is 100 percent accurate and to account for each and every sale.

Although we strive to post monthly statements within four weeks, four times per year it takes us six weeks to post statements. The extra two weeks occurs each time iUniverse has a royalty payout. During these quarterly payment periods, our staff is busy preparing the quarterly statements, arranging individual payments.

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A bookstore ordered copies of my book at the end of last month, but those sales aren't appearing on my monthly statement. Why?

There are two reasons this might occur. First, like many publishers, iUniverse records a sale and pays royalties only after books are physically shipped. We may have an order in process at the end of a month, but if the books haven't shipped that month, then the sale will not be recorded until the following month.

What's more likely, however, is that the bookstore ordered either through the largest wholesaler, Ingram Book Company, or directly through its printing arm, Lightning Source, Inc. (LSI). Ingram and LSI are on a 4/4/5 accounting cycle. This means that they operate on a four-week, four-week, five-week financial calendar rather than a monthly calendar. The financial month-end close always occurs on a Friday and therefore is not always at the calendar end of the month. LSI reports monthly sales to iUniverse according to the Ingram financial calendar, and iUniverse in turn reports those sales to authors in the monthly statement. Any sales in a calendar month that occur after the financial month end will not appear on your statement until the following calendar month.

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I would like to refer a friend to iUniverse. How do I go about doing this?

To refer a friend to iUniverse, have your friend tell their Publishing Consultant your name (or the name of the referring published iUniverse author, if it is not you). When your friend's book is completed, the referring author is eligible for a $100 referral payment.

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What can the myUniverse account do for me?

Your myUniverse account provides you with several valuable tools to help you track your sales and royalties. Here is a brief explanation of each of those tools located in the Sales and Royalties Overview.

Monthly Sales History Report
This section includes details of your book sales by accounting month and provides a breakdown of sales for each of your titles by type.

Royalty Statement
This section allows you to review your current and prior royalty statements. The royalty statement shows all sales recorded during the current royalty period.

Sales Activity Detail
Book orders processed directly through iUniverse will appear in this report as soon as we have received shipping confirmation. Please note: the sales data posted on this page is provided for informational purposes only and is not the final record of sales. Your final record of sales is provided in your Quarterly Royalty Statement.

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General Tax Information

iUniverse will mail a Form1099-MISC to each U.S. author who earned more than $10.00 in royalties (or incurred withholding greater than $0.00) during the calendar year. The income and withholding represent royalties from Quarter 4 of the previous year through Quarter 3 of the Form 1099-MISC year. The form will be mailed by Jan. 31, and should be delivered to the author in February.  This form is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report royalty income and withholding.  If the author was not paid any monies during the calendar year, then he or she will not receive a Form 1099-MISC. The IRS requires iUniverse to have the form mailed/postmarked by Jan. 31, not delivered by Jan 31.

International authors will receive a Form 1042-S instead of a Form 1099-MISC for the royalties earned and the amount withheld during the calendar year. The Form 1042-S will be mailed by March 15.

The IRS requires iUniverse to have a Form W-9 or Form W-8BEN on file for each author who may earn royalties. The tax form must include the individual or company’s U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, EIN, or ITIN).  If the author refuses to provide the form or the digital equivalency, iUniverse will begin withholding taxes at the rate of 28% for U.S. citizens (or resident aliens) or 30% for nonresident aliens living outside the U.S. in accordance with U.S. tax law.

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What tax information can iUniverse provide for me?

iUniverse will provide a Form 1099-MISC or Form 1042-S stating royalties earned during a calendar year and the amount of withholding, to assist you in accurately reporting your royalty income. For further information please consult your professional tax consultant.

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When does iUniverse mail the 1099-MISC or 1042-S?

By law iUniverse is required to mail the previous year’s Form 1099-MISC by Jan. 31 of the current year. For non-U.S. persons, the previous year’s Form 1042-S will be mailed by March 15 of the current year.

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Why didn’t I get a 1099-MISC this year?

If you were paid less than $10.00, and did not have withholding in the previous calendar year, you will not receive a 1099-MISC.

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If I was paid under $10.00 in royalties, do I have to report it on my income tax?

For any questions on reporting your income to the IRS, please consult your professional tax consultant.

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Why is the income stated on my 1099-MISC or 1042-S form not equal to the sum of my royalty payments for the calendar year?

The tax form reports the total royalties income earned over the calendar year and taxes withheld. “Royalties income earned” is the amount of your checks before withholding. Your payments equal the difference between your total income on the form and any taxes withheld. 

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When will iUniverse post Quarter 4 royalties so I can complete my income tax return?

Quarter 4 royalties will not be paid to you until the following calendar year; therefore, Quarter 4 royalties will be included on the Form 1099-MISC or 1042-S you receive the following year.  Please refer to the Form 1099-MISC or 1042-S you may receive from iUniverse to learn the amount of money that has been reported as royalty income (and withholding) for tax filing purposes. Form 1099-MISC will be mailed by Jan. 31of the current year, and Form 1042-S will be mailed by March 15.

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Tax Form Submission

I submitted a Form W-9 or a Form W-8BEN in the past.  Why am I being asked for it again?

If you receive a request from iUniverse to submit your tax information, then we do not have your Form W-9 or W-8BEN in our system, and we need you to resubmit the appropriate form. We may not be able to assign a received tax form to your account due to an issue with matching your tax form with your author account, the tax form may include an incomplete address, or it could be another reason.

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I opted-out of submitting my tax information. Why does iUniverse continue to request my tax information?

The IRS requires that we have a complete tax Form W-9 or W-8BEN on file even if an author has opted-out of submitting tax information. We are required to request the tax form annually.

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If my company should receive the royalties instead of me, as the author, what do I need to do?

First, an account for your company must be created in our system. To have an account created for the company, speak to customer support about a reassignment of rights. Second, a Form W-9 needs to be filled out for the company using the company EIN for the tax ID. Third, the company’s W-9 must be submitted either online through the company’s iUniverse account, or by mail (be sure to reference the company’s iUniverse account number).

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My company’s W-9 was accidentally added to my individual account (or vice versa). How can I correct this?

If your company’s W-9 was added to your individual account, please correct by submitting your individual W-9 and referencing your individual iUniverse account. Also, make sure that your company’s W-9 is connected to your company’s account. If your individual W-9 was added to your company’s account, please correct by submitting your company W-9 and referencing your company iUniverse account.  

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International Authors

I am an international author, what do I need to do regarding the tax forms and ID numbers?

You will need to submit a Form W-8BEN to iUniverse. When filling out the form, please remember to include your IRS issued U.S. taxpayer identification number (ITIN for individuals, EIN for companies), your author account number, your country of citizenship, and claim to a lower tax treaty rate (if applicable). Even if you don’t have a U.S. taxpayer identification number yet, you should still submit an initial Form W-8BEN to establish that you are not a U.S. person. Submit the Form W-8BEN once you have a U.S. taxpayer identification number in order to claim a reduced rate or exemption from withholding if your country has an income tax treaty with the United States.

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How do I know if my country has a tax treaty with the United States that allows me to claim a lower rate of withholding?

If applicable, you may claim a reduced rate of withholding as a resident of a foreign country with which the United States has an income tax treaty. See the Tax Treaty Tables within Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 515 (see the helpful links below), “Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities”, under “Copyrights” for your country’s tax treaty rate. Submit Form W-8BEN when requested by iUniverse whether or not you are claiming a reduced rate of withholding.

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What if I don’t have an ITIN?

If you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) and are not eligible to get one, you must obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to claim your country’s reduced tax treaty rate (if applicable). To apply for an ITIN, file Form W-7, “Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number” (see helpful links below) with the IRS. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to receive an ITIN from the IRS.

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What if I don’t have an EIN?

Companies may apply for a U.S. Employer Identification Number (EIN) by filing a Form SS-4 with the IRS.

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  How do I file Form W-7 with the IRS (to obtain an ITIN)?

The W-7 tax form needs to be submitted by you, the author, to the IRS directly. This form is not processed or submitted by iUniverse. iUniverse can supply you with a support letter that will need to be submitted with Form W-7. Once this process is completed, the IRS will supply you with an ITIN. The ITIN will need to be included on the W-8BEN form that can be completed online through your secure author account or sent to iUniverse directly. If you require a W-7 support letter, please make the request with customer support and be sure to include your author account number, legal name, and mailing address.

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1099-MISC

What is a 1099-MISC form?

Form 1099-MISC is used to report royalty income and backup withholding. The form is for each person who earned at least $10 in royalties during the past calendar year or anyone paid who had any amount of backup withholding regardless of the $10 minimum.

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Who will receive a 1099-MISC form?

Authors who have been paid at least $10 in royalties or who have had any backup withholding during the past calendar year will receive a 1099-MISC form. Form 1099-MISC applies to U.S. residents and U.S. resident aliens ONLY and is not sent to nonresident aliens or foreign persons. Nonresident aliens and foreign persons receive Form 1042-S.

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What if there is an error on the 1099-MISC form? Is it too late to make changes?

1099-MISC forms are not due to be filed with the IRS until March 31, so we still have time to make changes if necessary. Even after that, we can still file corrected forms with the IRS, so do not panic if something might be wrong.

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The amount on my 1099-MISC form doesn’t match my checks; what is wrong?

The amount of royalties reported on the 1099 is the gross amount of royalties paid before any backup withholding. The royalty amount should match the amount of royalties on your statements from Q4 of the previous year to Q3 of the 1099 year, plus any iPad or offset distribution royalties wherever applicable. Subtracting the withholding (box 4) from the royalty income (box 2) should equal the total monies paid to you during the 1099 year. If after careful analysis, you still believe there is an error, please contact iUniverse customer support.

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One of my checks was not received during the tax year. May I request a corrected 1099-MISC?

If the check was sent to the address on-file during the tax year, the 1099-MISC must include the income (and withholding if applicable) associated with the payment. If the check has still not been received, please contact customer support and request a re-cut.

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Why isn’t there a “Recipient’s Identification Number” on my 1099-MISC form?

The “Recipient’s Identification Number” is the box that should include your U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). U.S. persons should submit a Form W-9 to iUniverse to report their Social Security Number (or EIN for a business). If we receive the update before the IRS filing deadline, March 31, we can guarantee that the updated form with the new identification number will be submitted to the IRS. We encourage online submission of the Form W-9 through your secure author account.

Please note: authors may incur a penalty from the IRS for failing to report their TIN or for providing an invalid TIN.

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The “Recipient’s Identification Number” on my 1099-MISC form is incorrect; what do I do?

Submit a Form W-9 to provide iUniverse with your corrected Social Security Number (or EIN for a business). If we receive the update before the IRS filing deadline, March 31, we can guarantee that the updated form with the new identification number will be submitted to the IRS. We encourage online submission of the Form W-9 through your secure author account.

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The “Recipient’s name” on my 1099-MISC form is incorrect; what do I do?

The recipient name on your Form 1099-MISC is the person or entity who earned royalties income during the tax year. In most cases, the name must remain unchanged.

However, if you were the recipient of the royalty income during the year and there is a spelling error with the last name, then we may be able to issue a correction before filing with the IRS on March 31. To request a 1099-MISC name correction, contact iUniverse customer support. 

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The “Recipient address” on my 1099-MISC form is incorrect; what do I do?

The IRS does not match addresses. If you have received the form, then there is no need to request a new form with an updated address. If you would like to update your address for future mailings, please contact iUniverse customer support.

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I cannot locate my 1099-MISC form; how can I request a copy?

Please contact iUniverse customer support and request a copy of your 1099-MISC form. Be sure to indicate the tax year. The copy can be e-mailed with the Taxpayer Identification Number masked, or sent by the post if necessary.

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Where can I find more information about my tax forms?

Check out these helpful links:


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