Last week, I received an email from Google AdSense advising me that my payments were on hold due to missing tax information. The email is definitely from Google and not phishing.
I have never seen an email like this from them previously, and all my payments come from HubPages to PayPal. There is a nice amount of money on hold...just curious about this, and before I log into AdSense and provide info, wanted to check with others...do any of you also get payments directly from Google AdSense? I want to make certain I don't run afoul of HubPages or the IRS.
I've never received an email from AdSense asking to update my tax information, but if you decide to update it, I suggest signing in to your AdSense account and follow these instructions. If you are concerned about phishing or scams don't use the link provided in the email.
Hi Matt, it is definitely from Google/AdSense, so not phishing. I'll leave it for now and see if they send me a second email. Thanks for your response!
Kailli, if you follow Matt's link you'll see that AdSense are required by US tax authorities to withhold payments from you once the amount due reaches a certain level in a single tax year unless they have the relevant tax information.
In their Q&A section they answer the question "How do I know I am affected?" with "We'll send you an email." If you ignore the email, nothing will happen, but they won't pay you the money and they're unlikely to send a reminder. You have nothing to lose by following Matt's advice.
EDIT: It doesn't matter whether or not you are a US taxpayer, Google AdSense has to deduct taxes unless your country has a reciprocal tax agreement with them. I know UK has one, and probably Canada does too, but you will need to state this on the AdSense tax enquiry form.
Hi Beth and thank you for the reply. Yes, I was afraid of ending up in some sort of tax situation with the IRS, more than anything, because it asks about your website etc. Last thing I want is to have to complete a US tax return as well as Canadian. I'll have another look for sure. Thanks again!
The IRS don't make it easy for overseas earners. The reciprocal agreement with UK is just a tick box exercise now, but several years ago when I first started earning online it was much more complicated. I had to go to the American Embassy in London (which is a 6 hours return trip from where I live) so that they could see my passport and get me to sign US tax exemption documents in person.
ugh...I'll need to see if there is a firm reciprocal agreement in place before I get myself into a tax situation. I had this happen years ago, and like you, I had to go to the US Embassy here and hand over my passport and fill out forms. Luckily, the embassy is in the same city where I live, so not the arduous trip you had to make.
I would go with Matt Wells' suggestion. Google just banned my account, but before them, I never received any of such emails from them either.
I may be wrong, but that email just rinks of scam to me.
There is a 100% tax treaty between Canada and the US. You declare in only one country and include all earnings. The only trouble will come if a company reports paying you and you don't report the earnings. Then you might get audited.
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