As some of you may realise I write little stories of adventure and sex also some poetry and naval fiction, which are sold on Amazon and can also be read on Prime. Being retired I get enjoyment from writing, usually there are two or three books on the go with editing, reading, re-writing, keeps the old brain ticking over and it is enjoyable, until you have to deal with bureaucracy then life takes on a whole different meaning.
I have to get an ITIN number from the IRS so that Amazon can release my royalties. I fill out a W7 form and send it off with the paperwork confirming who I am to Austin in Texas. Simple, oh no. The giant machine goes through it and sends it back “REJECTED” one of the reasons was I need to obtain a letter from the withholding agent, on headed paper, that the request from me was in fact the correct and legal reason.
OK who am I to argue with the IRS so I contacted Amazon on chat and requested a letter. Now this where things get complicated. Amazon says there is no legal requirement for them to supply a letter, but in the IRS regulations there is. So I talk to one person then another person, four people later I am no further forward. In the time wasted talking to Amazon I could have chopped down a tree mashed the wood into pulp, pressed out some paper and built a typewriter but I still don’t have a letter. Is this a private enterprise? a well run efficient machine bringing profitability to it’s shareholders? a well run organisation to it’s suppliers or some MONOLITHIC MONSTER engrossed in bureaucracy?
I expect government departments to be nit pickers, have you dotted the I’s have you crossed the T’s. But the image portrayed of the American company is a vibrant productive organisation, perhaps I have got it wrong. Many of these internet companies use computers to hide away from the public. They are not interested in being well run because they are monopoly groupings, they just smash all opposition into the ground they don’t have to be productive or efficient or care about the little man.
So how do I get out of this ” Catch 22″. The IRS want things their way and Amazon have the legal statutes to back them up. What do I do Mr Bezos? if you are so desperate for my few bucks you can keep them. After all what does a seventy two year old pensioner want it for when a Billionaire CEO is so desperate. Perhaps you don’t know how your company actually operates the rules and regulations that constrain your employees, but it’s not very efficient.
(c) Michael Douglas Bosc