Been away for a while.
I maybe publishing a paid app soon. I have signed up and been approved for the Merchant Account etc.
First question is on the Physical Address requirement - how flexible is Google on it’s earlier requirement that it not be a post office box etc. Because I remember there was a developer backlash about not wanting to give out home addresses (many are at home). And I have seen many developers who give post office box type addresses when you look at the apps on Google Play.
Second question is on taxation - in the Merchant Account - Settings - Payment Settings - there is an entry:
United States tax information: Status
Which when you click on “Submit tax information” (which is essentially an online W8-BEN form - that non-US developers routinely fill out for the various ad networks to assert that they are not U.S. entities etc. and that U.S. taxes should not be withheld).
After this it changes to:
United States tax information: Business
The questions is - should one have filled out the W8-BEN form (essentially that is what it is) - or is it the right thing to do for a non-U.S. developer (even though there maybe users from the U.S. who buy their app).
This whole business of developers being personally responsible for taxation per-country (for the 200 countries of the world) is another example of Google lack of care - contrast this with Apple Store where everything is handled by Apple. Now it may be that Google has done this to avoid paying taxes (and making apps expensive) - and by offloading it to developers’ shoulders it essentially reduces tax bracket (if developer is poor) - but also it maybe introducing barriers to governments scrutiny of who is making what on Google Play. However, eventually governments will want that information and Google will relent - and then there will be hordes of developers who have mistakenly or “not being bothered with it” just been clueless about what the whole taxation obligation on them was …
So as a non-U.S. developer, should one have filled out the W8-BEN form (I don’t see a way to unfill it though so this is a moot question :-)) - or is it ok to do so even though some users maybe from u.s. who buy the app.
Secondly how does one figure out/handle the burden of taxation (ok EU is now exempt since Google is now being forced by EU to handle it, but what about the other countries). And specifically what about the U.S. ?