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1:42pm on Monday, 23rd March, 2015:



I have to fill in a new W-8 form to ask the US Government not to take taxes off me for royalties on my book as I'll be paying them in the UK. This is a tiresome piece of bureaucracy, but Pearson (my publisher) has made it easy: you can do it all online and it automatically generates and dispatches the W-8 form for you.

To use the form, you have to prove who you are. To prove who you are, you have to select your country from a drop-down list and type the first 3 letters of your postal city. This is then compared againt the address that Pearson has for you on file, and if it works then you're through to the form-filling part.

Pearson has my country as being England. Its drop-down list has United Kingdom but no England.

I sent them an email asking them to change my address. The email I received by return told me I couldn't request an address change by email as they need me to sign it. For extra security, I have to provide the first few digits of my social security number.

I don't have a social security number. If I did, I wouldn't have had to fill in the W-8 form in the first place.

The easier you make it to do something, the harder it gets.

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Copyright © 2015 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).