Author Topic: Amazon Tax Warning  (Read 1241 times)

LilyBLily

Amazon Tax Warning
« on: January 30, 2019, 11:59:29 PM »
I received an incorrect 1099-MISC from Amazon and spent some time checking my bank records to try to determine what happened. Finally I wrote Amazon at Tax Central. Amazon Tax Central sent me a list of KDP payments and CreateSpace payments. NONE of the KDP payments were mine. Two of the CreateSpace payments were not mine.

If their numbers don't match yours this year, check further.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2019, 12:03:40 AM »
Moved this into the What are Amazon doing now? area.

Any response from them yet?
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit. Also Spiritual and Games.

  

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LilyBLily

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2019, 12:28:46 AM »
Based on how long it took Amazon to reply to my initial query, I would not expect another answer for at least 15 hours. If this isn't cleared up to my satisfaction within one more reply, I'll bump it upstream.

The incorrect numbers show someone earning a roughly equivalent amount, but divided into two large payments per month. That suggests to me an author who has significant international sales with one other country. I don't.
 

DrewMcGunn

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2019, 12:36:48 AM »
I had a modest discrepancy on the create space royalties vs what I was expecting, I emailed Amazon's KDP team. They escalated to a 1099 team who emailed me the 2018 transactions paid to me.
It took 4 or 5 days to get a response. It wasn't fast.

If the Zon made a mistake on what they should have shown, it wouldn't be surprised if it take even longer to get a response.


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Maggie Ann

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2019, 12:38:48 AM »
Already Audibile told us that there could be a mistake on their 1099s. I haven't seen mine yet so I can't compare.

           
 

LilyBLily

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2019, 12:50:42 AM »
I've just added up Amazon's incorrect numbers and they match the 1099-MISC to the penny. So the tax document is entirely incorrect. This is a huge error for me, but somebody's eyes slipped, I guess.

As to timing, it's not an issue since I'm already waiting to file until Congress decides if it intends to renew any of the expired tax credits. Last year, Congress renewed them on February 9th. Have I mentioned that I hate Congress? As a tax volunteer, I have to learn new regulations every year at the very last moment because Congress drags its heels for months over whether it's going to extend the Residential Energy Credit or the Tuition and Fees Credit, or whatever.

 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2019, 05:48:13 AM »
I always wait until after February 20 anyway, partly because companies have until February 20 to mail the 1099s, and I find I have to chase fewer of them if I wait for them to arrive. Still, it would be better to have accurate information when it does come. :HB


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notthatamanda

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2019, 06:01:34 AM »
Thank you for posting this.
I took all my payments for 2018 from the payments tab and dumped them into excel, the USD column.  They don't add up to what Amazon put on the 1099.   I think those two numbers should match, unless I am missing something.
Once upon a time didn't we get separate 1099s for each country or is that a sleep deprived hallucination?
I'll need to head over to the sandpit if I want to say anything about congress.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2019, 06:33:03 AM »
Thank you for posting this.
I took all my payments for 2018 from the payments tab and dumped them into excel, the USD column.  They don't add up to what Amazon put on the 1099.   I think those two numbers should match, unless I am missing something.
Once upon a time didn't we get separate 1099s for each country or is that a sleep deprived hallucination?
I'll need to head over to the sandpit if I want to say anything about congress.

I checked my bank deposits, too, one by one, in case I'd missed any from Amazon Associates or in case something from CreateSpace had been credited to KDP or never paid to me at all. But nothing added up to Amazon's numbers. That took a couple of hours because I did it about three ways. Once I got the reply from Amazon with all those completely wrong numbers, though, it was clear I needn't have bothered with all that double checking.

Amazon incorrectly assigned someone else's royalties to my account. Lord knows where mine went. 
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2019, 02:38:32 AM »
I'm thankful for this thread, because it spurred me to check my 1099-MISC. (The total looked low.) Anyway, haven't the KU payments normally been included in the KDP 1099? Because mine don't appear to have been. Hey, only a $3300 or so error.

Even without that, the KDP and CS numbers are both wrong, though not grossly so. I have communed with the Amazon Tax Central. Hopefully, I'll get that straightened out before I actually sit down to finalize the information for my tax guy.


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LilyBLily

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2019, 02:50:15 AM »
I'm thankful for this thread, because it spurred me to check my 1099-MISC. (The total looked low.) Anyway, haven't the KU payments normally been included in the KDP 1099? Because mine don't appear to have been. Hey, only a $3300 or so error.

Even without that, the KDP and CS numbers are both wrong, though not grossly so. I have communed with the Amazon Tax Central. Hopefully, I'll get that straightened out before I actually sit down to finalize the information for my tax guy.

The totals on the incorrect 1099-MISC weren't very far off mine, but the payments listed as generating those totals weren't the same payments I received. I went to my online bank and checked every payment. Amazon can't argue with the bank.

No answer yet.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 10:38:56 AM by LilyBLily »
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2019, 03:13:13 AM »
I'm thankful for this thread, because it spurred me to check my 1099-MISC. (The total looked low.) Anyway, haven't the KU payments normally been included in the KDP 1099? Because mine don't appear to have been. Hey, only a $3300 or so error.

Even without that, the KDP and CS numbers are both wrong, though not grossly so. I have communed with the Amazon Tax Central. Hopefully, I'll get that straightened out before I actually sit down to finalize the information for my tax guy.

The totals on the incorrect 1009-MISC weren't very far off mine, but the payments listed as generating those totals weren't the same payments I received. I went to my online bank and checked every payment. Amazon can't argue with the bank.

No answer yet.
Either way, it sounds as if your theory was correct--Amazon is incorrectly matching info with people. The complete absence of KU information makes it appear that the information I got from them must be someone else's, apparently someone who isn't in KU. I haven't gone back and checked all the bank deposits yet. I'll do that when I hear back from them. But clearly, something is wrong somewhere. If it happened to both of us, it probably happened to a lot of other people.


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IW Ferguson

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2019, 04:46:02 PM »
I would chime in with my 2 cents here, but my 1099 was only off by 1 cent.

Sigh. The life of a prawn.
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Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2019, 01:47:40 AM »
Well, it turns out that I was looking at the wrong year when I made the statements above. Mine is still off, but by much less than I thought. The total is close to correct, but the way it's arrived at is odd (significantly higher CS royalties in one place than in another).


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123mlh

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2019, 04:43:24 AM »
Mine was off by $9.75. I'm not filing until April so if they correct it great, if not it's not a big enough difference for me to stress about given the total amount involved.
 

Eclectic Dan

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2019, 08:46:17 AM »
Gee.  All these issues make me almost glad Amazon didn't pay me anything in 2018.

Almost. :confused:
     
 

LilyBLily

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 02:39:42 AM »
Update.

I received two separate email replies from Amazon Tax Central. One was an Excel listing of all payments to me in 2018. A curious feature of this is that Amazon for the first time ever included payments actually made on on January 2, 2019 as 2018 payments, and Amazon did not include the payments made on January 2, 2018. In prior years, my numbers from Amazon matched the actual dates I received them at my bank. This isn't Amazon using the accrual accounting system. It's still the cash accounting system but they're using their posting date, not the it's-really-in-the-bank date. This is analogous to receiving a physical check on January 2 that is dated December 29. In my case the dollar amounts were minimal, but it could mean a large discrepancy for authors who routinely sell a lot of books worldwide, since those payments were from international sales.

The Excel spreadsheet did have the correct payments this time. However, the dollar amounts did not add up to what is listed on the 1099-MISC, which remains unchanged in the Amazon Tax Portal. I've requested that Amazon change the 1099-MISC to reflect the true total on the Excel spreadsheet Amazon sent me.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 02:57:05 AM »
Gee.  All these issues make me almost glad Amazon didn't pay me anything in 2018.

Almost. :confused:

Seriously? No sales at all?
 

Eclectic Dan

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2019, 03:15:03 AM »
Gee.  All these issues make me almost glad Amazon didn't pay me anything in 2018.

Almost. :confused:

Seriously? No sales at all?

My 2018 earnings were under $3.  Not enough to meet the threshold for a check payment and not really worth handing over my bank account info for EFT.
     
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2019, 03:24:08 AM »
Update.

I received two separate email replies from Amazon Tax Central. One was an Excel listing of all payments to me in 2018. A curious feature of this is that Amazon for the first time ever included payments actually made on on January 2, 2019 as 2018 payments, and Amazon did not include the payments made on January 2, 2018. In prior years, my numbers from Amazon matched the actual dates I received them at my bank. This isn't Amazon using the accrual accounting system. It's still the cash accounting system but they're using their posting date, not the it's-really-in-the-bank date. This is analogous to receiving a physical check on January 2 that is dated December 29. In my case the dollar amounts were minimal, but it could mean a large discrepancy for authors who routinely sell a lot of books worldwide, since those payments were from international sales.

The Excel spreadsheet did have the correct payments this time. However, the dollar amounts did not add up to what is listed on the 1099-MISC, which remains unchanged in the Amazon Tax Portal. I've requested that Amazon change the 1099-MISC to reflect the true total on the Excel spreadsheet Amazon sent me.
My Excel spreadsheet matched the 1099 exactly. I'll go back and match it with the bank deposits, but I have a good feeling. It appears there are errors in the historical data listed by KDP (possibly created by the kind of dating issue you suggest if both data sources aren't using the same system).


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LilyBLily

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2019, 03:23:56 PM »
I received a third spreadsheet from Amazon. Each one has been different! This time around, in addition to not counting payments I received January 2, 2018 and counting payments I received January 2, 2019, Amazon also showed most of the international sales with a few cents different and sometimes combined. A discrepancy remains, but it's about $2, so I'm going to roll with it. I wonder if Amazon will do this again next year--or will double count payments I received this January. 

This is sloppy of Amazon. In prior years, their figures and mine have matched. If vastly larger dollar amounts were involved, I'd be furious.
 

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Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2019, 02:15:54 AM »
I received a third spreadsheet from Amazon. Each one has been different! This time around, in addition to not counting payments I received January 2, 2018 and counting payments I received January 2, 2019, Amazon also showed most of the international sales with a few cents different and sometimes combined. A discrepancy remains, but it's about $2, so I'm going to roll with it. I wonder if Amazon will do this again next year--or will double count payments I received this January. 

This is sloppy of Amazon. In prior years, their figures and mine have matched. If vastly larger dollar amounts were involved, I'd be furious.
You'd think a major corporation could at least get the tax documents right.


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Marti Talbott

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2019, 06:32:23 AM »
The best thing to do is report your taxes on what your bank statements say with a notation that the 1099 is incorrect. I've done that with my business forms and they didn't complain. Besides, I can back the numbers up with bank statements if they question it. Of course, it's best to have a business account that is different from your personal account.

writtenkitten

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2019, 09:33:23 AM »
The cents off from other countries will always happen due to the exchange rate.

As for the January 2nd payment, Amazon likely scheduled it for December 29th (Sat) and it depends on your bank as to whether or not they were open. If you have direct deposit and say, a credit union, it might not have been posted until the 2nd because they were closed until that point. If that's the case, that has nothing to do with Amazon because according to their records, they send it electronically on Dec 29th and that's what is on file with the ACH (automated clearing house). It's not their fault your bank did not deposit it until then.

If you look back at December's payment emails, they're scheduled for Dec 29th.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2019, 10:02:24 AM »
The cents off from other countries will always happen due to the exchange rate.

As for the January 2nd payment, Amazon likely scheduled it for December 29th (Sat) and it depends on your bank as to whether or not they were open. If you have direct deposit and say, a credit union, it might not have been posted until the 2nd because they were closed until that point. If that's the case, that has nothing to do with Amazon because according to their records, they send it electronically on Dec 29th and that's what is on file with the ACH (automated clearing house). It's not their fault your bank did not deposit it until then.

If you look back at December's payment emails, they're scheduled for Dec 29th.
Which would also account for why Amazon payments post on January 2 in some years but not in others--it would depend upon what day of the week December 29 was on, and whether or not the bank was open on that day.


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writtenkitten

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2019, 10:23:19 AM »
Yup - constructive receipt is more or less when it's deposited into your account, if I remember correctly from my banking days. Direct Deposit is a regulated file so it already has a date assigned to it. Amazon shows they paid it on the 29th so they have to record it in 2018.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Amazon Tax Warning
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2019, 12:14:26 PM »
When I receive paper checks in early January, I routinely list the payment as of the December check date. The ACH rules are news to me but I guess they're logical if Amazon actually initiated the payments on the 29th. The cents differences suggested that the Amazon persons looking into the records were accessing them internationally. Not a big deal now that I know what's going on. Being sent a list of somebody else's deposits at first was weird, though.   

I can safely go back to tearing my hair out over iterative tax adjustment calculations.