Sorting out your Amazon 1099-MISC forms from KDP and CreateSpace (Tax Year 2015)



I received 12 different 1099-MISC forms for tax year 2015 from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and 3 more 1099-MISC forms from CreateSpace. I obtained my KDP tax forms online, but received my CreateSpace forms in the mail (on February 5).

Check yours against my list below to see if you’ve received them all.

Also, my list below will help you check which international marketplace each form corresponds to.

Verify that the amounts are correct. Occasionally, a mistake is made. (One year, they issued replacements a few weeks after mailing the originals.)

Note that, contrary to rumor, there is NO limit of $600 for book royalties. For book royalties, the limit is $10, meaning that if you earned at least $10 in royalties, you should account for this in your tax return. Amazon will have sent the information to the IRS. Most authors can use Schedule C-EZ, but if you earned too much, you need Schedule C instead, and also if you earn enough, you need to file SE (in addition to Schedule C) for self-employment tax (but if you file SE, there is another place to deduct a little on the 1040). You can subtract reasonable business expenses. (If you feel that writing is a hobby, don’t go by your feeling: There is a chart on the IRS website that can help you determine whether or not the IRS will agree with you about this.) Note that I’m NOT an accountant or tax attorney, so I’m not qualified to advise you on your taxes. You should consult a qualified tax professional for help. I’m just trying to help you find all of your forms and get you pointed in the right direction, and if you do hire a tax professional, you should try to follow along to ensure that they aren’t making any mistakes.

Here are the 12 different 1099’s that I received from KDP:

  1. Amazon Digital Services (United States)
  2. AMEU – UK Digital Services (United Kingdom)
  3. Amazon Digital Services CA (Canada)
  4. Amazon Australia Svcs (Australia)
  5. Amazon Mexico Svcs (Mexcio)
  6. Amazon Media EU SARL (NL) (Netherlands)
  7. Amazon Media EU SARL (IT) (Italy)
  8. Amazon Media EU SARL (ES) (Spain)
  9. Amazon Europe Holding Tech (France and Germany)
  10. Amazon Servicos de Varejo (Brazil)
  11. Amazon Digital South Asia (India)
  12. Amazon Svcs International (Japan)

Here are the 3 different 1099’s that I received from CreateSpace:

  1. On-Demand Publishing (United States)
  2. AMEU – UK Digital Services (United Kingdom). It’s for print sales even though it says Digital, provided that you see CRTSPACE in the bottom left box.
  3. Amazon Europe Holding Tech (continental Europe)

You may have yet another 1099 if you use Amazon Associates, for example. This 1099 is designated ASSOC in the bottom left box.

How do I know which marketplace corresponds to which 1099? I visited KDP and CreateSpace and totaled up all the payments I received in USD from each marketplace in tax year 2015, and checked these numbers against my 1099’s. You should do the same, just to make sure there were no mistakes.

When you log into KDP, click Reports, then click Payments. Next, choose the appropriate marketplace from the dropdown menu. Be sure to look at the Date column, not the Sales Period, and look for 2015.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2016

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

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25 comments on “Sorting out your Amazon 1099-MISC forms from KDP and CreateSpace (Tax Year 2015)

    • This question comes up on the KDP community forum every year. There have been some good discussions there. I’ll post a link to one when a get a chance. From what I gather, the consensus appears to be that C applies to most authors. (But I’m not a tax professional.)

  1. Schedule E doesn’t seem a good fit given that it seems applicable mostly to minerals, real estate, etc. but it does expressly state it is also for copyright royalties. But as we all know, the tax code and IRS regs are not for the faint of heart. That’s why law schools actually have Masters of Law in Taxation (the degree beyond JD). May not matter greatly so long as all the income is reported. But a link to something would be great.

    • Here is a good thread (it has arguments from both sides):

      However, reading that thread from a few years back, it seems that the language on some of these forms (maybe even the box number on the 1099 in which Amazon reports the royalties) has changed. More recent discussions on the forum also seem to favor C (though authors on the forums also aren’t tax professionals). Maybe there is language in the instructions for schedules C and E that will help clarify. Update: Sally’s comment (below) brings up the difference between payments and royalties, and how the IRS definition of royalties may differ from how authors tend to interpret this word.

  2. QUESTION: isn’t there a difference between “royalties” and “payments”?

    E.g., don’t we get payments when people purchase our books and AZ or CS or another distributor gives us our author’s portion each month or quarter?

    And, don’t we get royalties when people use parts or all of our writing for another purpose?

    Furthermore, aren’t “royalties” sometimes known as “residuals” if that money turns out to come to the author from replays of episodes of our TV show or a replay of our film on TV or payments from resales of our books in secondary markets?

    REBLOGGED and very grateful for this, Chris, and the subsequent discussion, which I suggest you turn into another post once we have this all sorted out!


    Sally Ember, Ed.d.

    • The instructions for 1099-MISC do mention differences between royalties, payments, and rents.

      It appears that the IRS uses the word “royalty” in a different way than authors tend to think of it.

      You may be right, what authors typically receive are payments. That may explain why Schedule C seems to be recommended (over Schedule E) for authors on many of the community forums.

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