Showing posts with label IRS Form 8802. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IRS Form 8802. Show all posts

30 October 2022

Down the Rabbit Hole


Just when you think you're getting a handle on how this writing game works, you find that some element of the process changes, the situation wasn't what you thought it was, or the situation now requires something you weren't originally aware of. So, come along with me and I'll show you the rabbit hole I stepped in.

It all started on one of the high points of my writing career. My story had just won the Edgar Award for Best Short Story at the MWA Banquet in Manhattan during the end of this past April. I was still riding a high when we returned home and I found an e-mail on a provider which I seldom used. It seemed a publisher in Japan wanted to purchase reprint rights to my Edgar story, "The Road to Hana." Great.

When I agreed, They sent a contract in English. Good thing because I don't read a single word of Japanese. The contract was simple as it laid out the terms. They would publish the story in their version of Mystery Magazine in its July 2022 issue, available on June 25th, and in return they would pay $200 USD by check.

I then went on to do my due diligence as best I could. Wikipedia listed them as a long time publishing corporation. Checking an English version of their online site showed they did publish that magazine. I e-mailed them the story and the signed contract.

July rolled past. No check. I gave them a month. Best I could tell, my story was not in the July issue. In August, I sent an e-mail inquiring where my check was. After all, it could have gotten lost in the mail. That is a long way across all that water.

To my surprise, the replying e-mail came within 24 hours. All the previous e-mails had taken about four days or so for a round trip. I had presumed that working out the translation for the two languages was the cause for the time gap in the first e-mails. A couple of things also bothered me about this e-mail. It came from their treasurer and went something along the lines of to avoid Japanese tax laws, they would run the story in a 4-part serial and would I please send them my bank's routing number, my account number and code password. I'd already had a Turkish hacker take a run at my PayPal account, so whatever happened to that good safe check?

Also, the name of the treasurer was Kobayashi. That might be a common name in Japan, I don't know, but maybe you remember Kevin Spacey in the movie The Usual Suspects? He plays the part of a lame criminal on the lower rungs of the hierarchy and tells the story to the cops about Kobayashi being the elusive and nefarious mastermind of the crime they are investigating. At the end of the movie, the cops let Spacey go and as he limps down the sidewalk, you see him become less and less lame until he walks with a normal stride, no limp. At that time you know he is Kobayashi.

Okay, okay, I will admit to a little paranoia in this time of cyber security hacks, phishing and scams. My former profession probably doesn't help the situation much, but like we always said, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you."

I start to question my invitation to this little tea party. I go dark and leave the next step up to them.

And then at the end of September, what 
to my wondering eyes should appear... No, wait, that's a different story. In this case, a package comes in the mail. It has Japanese postage stamps on it. I open the package and there are the three magazines I asked for as author complimentary copies. Of course, it is all in Japanese. Carefully, I turn page to page searching for anything in English. Finally, on one page is a drawing of palm trees along with four English words in very small print: the Road to Hana. How about that? I am finally internationally published.

All I've got to do now is wait for the White Rabbit to bring me my check.

Not so fast there, Bubba. The Mad Hatter wants his say in this back and forth tale.

Did you know that the U.S. government has a tax treaty with foreign countries? Now, it's going to cost me $85 dollars to fill out an IRS Form 8802 in order to get my IRS Form 6166 Certificate of Residency in order to get that $200 check.

Have any of you people gone down your own Rabbit Hole or taken a trip Through the Looking Glass? We would love to hear about it.