Pay non-US developers through local MS office to make tax easier
At the moment, developers planning to sell apps need to have a US tax ID (ITIN, I think?), which can be awkward to get if you're based outside the US. In the AppHub forums, several developers have said that they've paid for certified copies of passports etc to support their applications to the IRS, but are being rejected. Obviously, I'm not keen on starting this process with no guarantee that it will actually work, and I imagine that it's putting off a lot of prospective developers.
Is it practical to pay non-US developers through a local MS office, so that we don't need to register with the IRS to avoid double taxation?
Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll say that this one is very unlikely, but marking it to acknowledge that it’s been seen and bubbled up to the proper folks.
Ian Ringrose commented
Just givng an option to be paid var a MS office in the EU would sort this our for a lot of people.
Here in the comments I thought that I'd add some additional notes around why I (personally - please note that this comment is not a formal MS position here; I'm just sharing my perspective) believe would be extremely hard from an execution PoV. Beyond even just the payment coordination, there would be some financial items as different offices belong to different subsidiaries, which at times may be treated as different financial entities.
(again, personal experience...and I'm neither a lawyer nor a tax professional, but I've had to open POs across offices/subsidiaries in the past, and can tell you it's a sever PiA)
There is an option for non US citizens. It's extremely easy to set up.
Ian Ringrose commented
I had been thinking about developing an app, this puts off going ahead.
Its necessary paid with other form in other countries. For example webpay in Chile.
Just doing some research before starting to develop for the windows phone and I gotta say I'm put off by reading this and thinking I'll just move directly to android.
I can only agree with andycted... and I'm still without ITIN because of that too. I had some question about that and asked the MS support. They told me that they can't help me regarding to any tax questions because they are not accountants...... hey, me either!
What is the problem? Just do they payment through a local office. If you really want your marketplace become bigger..
Applied for ITIN, got rejected and did not extend my AppHub membership this year... Not going to put more apps into marketplace until I can be paid by the local MS office!
yes, please, it's a real nightmare
Getting an ITIN is a freaking nightmare, frankly the only positive thing out of this experience (and I'm still without ITIN) is that I realized Italian buerocracy is bad, but has some good company...
... more seriously, at one point I was almost giving up developing for WP7, because of the problems of getting paid. This is one of the many faces of the care-for-US-only policy of Windows Phone that kills the platform abroad
Or just do it like Apple - don't care, and leave it ut to the developer to sort things out with his local authorities.
Glenn Maughan commented
PayPal doesn't have this problem. Copy how they do it!
But seriously, the cost of AppHub registration and getting an ITIN far outweights the income for my app (even though it ranks and rates highly).
Absolutely! Theese tax papers makes me dizzy.
I'm a dev, not a accountant :)