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Patriot Act Letter from LL?


Pamela Galli
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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

LL should have stopped the automatic system from closing the ticket in three days,   Its just another example of LL's incompetence in how they have mishandled this entire thing starting out with blogging about  the IRS requirement then sending an email stating it was Homeland Security and not even mentioning the IRS.

To say it is Pam's mistake she didn't reply within 3 days is absurd in the extreme when the official communication gave 30 days and made no mention of a requirement to reply to the support ticket in 3.

I also don't understand why you are defending LL in all this, other than to troll the forums in an alt.

You nailed it, as usual, Amethyst.

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Pamela is not alone. I received the same support ticket, though not until after I asked why my payments were late.  What I don't understand is why this is necessary.  Linden Lab already had all of my identity information, including a copy of my passport from age verification.

And second, according to the US government, this clause of the Patriot Act only applies to people making more than $10,000 in a single transaction. This never applied to me.

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Presumably, you two missed the part where you get suspended for your planned action.  I wasn't happy about this either, but I have complied, and LL now has a scan of my state ID and released the payments they had been holding.

You must submit the form and identification within thirty (30) days of the date of this request. If you have not complied with this request within such time, we will place your account(s) on Administrative Hold until we receive such information. You may or may not receive a reminder; we recommend that you promptly submit the requested information to avoid any adverse effect to your Second Life account.

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Cheshyr Pontchartrain wrote:

What I don't understand is why this is necessary.  Linden Lab already had all of my identity information,
including a copy of my passport
from age verification.

The age verifications done during the beta were handled by a third party. It's possible that the third party just confimed that your papers were in order and LL never saw that documentation.

ETA:

"Some of you have raised the question whether the age verification vendor we have selected, Aristotle and their Integrity service, is complying with various global privacy laws, which generally pertain to collection, use and storage of personal data. We’ve been assured by them that they are in compliance with all relevant privacy laws. But the most important point here — which we think makes a big difference in evaluating safety and compliance — is that no data is being taken, retained or stored. Rather, an automated check is done at the point of contact, and all data is then purged. Thus, there is no collecting, using, storing, or transferring of your personal information beyond the one-time match. Period."

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Features/More-on-Age-Verification/ba-p/603022

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Good point, Griffin. It doesn't explain why Linden Lab is claiming the USA PATRIOT Act is involved.  I can only assume that Linden Lab considers all cash-outs as a single "series of related transactions during the course of business."  I asked Rowan Linden (the person who filed my ticket) for clarification.

The important things to take away from all of this noise is:

  1. The letter is genuine.
  2. For whatever reason, Linden Lab is not sending it to all merchants
  3. Linden Lab threatens to terminate (administrative suspension) the accounts of anyone who does not comply within 30 days

For everything else that people here are whining about, take it up with the US government, and George W. Bush in particular.

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One more note:  When I filled out the online form, there were some check boxes where I was to indicate whether I was a Sole Proprietor, S Corporation, C Corporation, or Partnership. The first box was checked by default, but I am not a Sole Proprietor.  

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Pamela Galli wrote:

One more note:  When I filled out the online form, there were some check boxes where I was to indicate whether I was a Sole Proprietor, S Corporation, C Corporation, or Partnership. The first box was checked by default, but I am not a Sole Proprietor.  

But, are you a Soul Proprietor?  I hear they're making a killing.

...Dres

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Pamela Galli wrote:

One more note:  When I filled out the online form, there were some check boxes where I was to indicate whether I was a Sole Proprietor, S Corporation, C Corporation, or Partnership. The first box was checked by default, but I am not a Sole Proprietor.  

Actually yes you are for tax reporting purposes. If you do not have executed Articles of Incorporation or a fully executed LLC or Business Partnership document on hand then you are a Sole Proprietor. If you have an informal business partnership relationship with someone in SL, it is completely informal and not recognized by the linden Lab and therefore not by the IRS.

Per Linden Lab, a Store can be owned only by a single individual. As such you are liable for the sum total of any tax burden due unless you formalize the business relationship formally in real life with your business partner. Then filing a tax return with a silent partner rules apply. Consult a tax professional if this causes you to have to pay taxes.

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Hi

Could you tell me whether you provided the photo ID they asked for and if not, did they take the hold off your process credit ?

I ask because I filled the form and sent it back but the instructions said I would be sent an email and I had to attach the Passport/Driving License scan etc but it did not ask for it within the final confirmation.

My wage (credit) was due today and I got this email about the W-8BEN form but my address needs updating on my passport and driving licsense since I moved fairly recently.

This is going to take three weeks from the offices in the UK to update and get it to me which means my income is going to be at least a month late!

Some notice would have been nice!

ie:  "You have 30 days to provide ABC and if you do not provide ABC any credits due after that date will be put on hold"

To give me zero notice on money a process credit that was placed on the 11th Jan is a nightmare. I am going to be left with unpaid bills and bank charges and it's not my fault.

As I say, I have completed the form and apparently everything has been recieved but I was under the impression until they got my photo ID, I can't have the money they have placed on hold....

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Yea I can and I will but as I say, my photo ID (Which they need my address to be visible on) needs updating with the issuing offices as I have moved recently and this will take a minimum of three weeks according to the passport application website.

As I got zero notice from LL about them needing this information and as they already owe me a credit I filed on the 11th Jan this months income is going to be a month late which is a nightmare.

They SHOULD have given people 30 days notice so they have time to get the paperwork in order without it causing delays in money earned and due before they declared pending credits will be put on hold.

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LillyBeth Filth wrote:

Yea I can and I will but as I say, my photo ID (Which they need my address to be visible on) needs updating with the issuing offices as I have moved recently and this will take a minimum of three weeks according to the passport application website.

As I got zero notice from LL about them needing this information and as they already owe me a credit I filed on the 11th Jan this months income is going to be a month late which is a nightmare.

They SHOULD have given people 30 days notice so they have time to get the paperwork in order without it causing delays in money earned and due before they declared pending credits will be put on hold.

You might want to ask someone at LL, but you may be able to submit one or two current utility bills in your name with your correct address.  It's worth a shot, instead of just having to wait.

...Dres

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KarenMichelle Lane wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

One more note:  When I filled out the online form, there were some check boxes where I was to indicate whether I was a Sole Proprietor, S Corporation, C Corporation, or Partnership. The first box was checked by default, but I am not a Sole Proprietor.  

Actually yes you are for tax reporting purposes. If you do not have executed Articles of Incorporation or a fully executed LLC or Business Partnership document on hand then you are a Sole Proprietor. If you have an informal business partnership relationship with someone in SL, it is completely informal and not recognized by the linden Lab and therefore not by the IRS.

Per Linden Lab, a Store can be owned only by a single individual. As such you are liable for the sum total of any tax burden due unless you formalize the business relationship formally in real life with your business partner. Then filing a tax return with a silent partner rules apply. Consult a tax professional if this causes you to have to pay taxes.

I am actually incorporated. Just can't say so on the form LL provides.

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Pamela Galli wrote:


KarenMichelle Lane wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

One more note:  When I filled out the online form, there were some check boxes where I was to indicate whether I was a Sole Proprietor, S Corporation, C Corporation, or Partnership. The first box was checked by default, but I am not a Sole Proprietor.  

Actually yes you are for tax reporting purposes. If you do not have executed Articles of Incorporation or a fully executed LLC or Business Partnership document on hand then you are a Sole Proprietor. If you have an informal business partnership relationship with someone in SL, it is completely informal and not recognized by the linden Lab and therefore not by the IRS.

Per Linden Lab, a Store can be owned only by a single individual. As such you are liable for the sum total of any tax burden due unless you formalize the business relationship formally in real life with your business partner. Then filing a tax return with a silent partner rules apply. Consult a tax professional if this causes you to have to pay taxes.

I am actually incorporated. Just can't say so on the form LL provides.

Oh then yes contact the linden Lab Billing office to set up your membership under your corporation name....That eliminates the 1099 reporting requirements at least on an income basis. If you still qualify for the transaction threshold reporting requirement the corporation derails are what is needed.

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Hi Ho!

Long sigh after reading all this but anyway enough for me to be sure that it is what we need to do and thats it. ANyway seems that most ...wel at least many..never paid tax of sl incomes and I suppose everyone knows that without tax we are all Greeks. Or argentines.

But sure that email is hard to read for anyone like me who is not englsih speaking person be nature. Its kinda law text and I am at least forced to just push those forms forward and see if it is accepted.

 

And those who say that Linden LAb done things wrong this way and that way...well..no need to do that if all pay taxes voluntarily.

Sure this was also reason that noboody else can anymore work as linden exchange to cash lindens.

But I also wonder if you have paid until this tax to your own country, how you explain that for now on you pay to u.s....well sure can show those forms..

Sure tax systems will never be fair as it is possible for many use tax-paradises and so on but..we have to live with it.

So next I will take photo of my passport and then another photo of my dentist bill;)

And by the way..same way PayPal ask those informations and not using even any IRS forms...

So...happy photographing to all, maybe someone will take a current face pic of her/himself and include it also. Just to be sure;)

"Take it or leave it"

RZ

 

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Ricky Zhichao wrote:

But I also wonder if you have paid until this tax to your own country, how you explain that for now on you pay to u.s....well sure can show those forms..

 

As I understand it,  people who are not residents of the USA (me, for example) and who do not have to pay US taxes will still not have to pay US taxes.   That is why we are asked to go to https://secure.echosign.com/public/hostedForm?formid=7XBB3LN2WIXD4M and fill out form W-8BEN, "Certificate of Foreign Status" -- to confirm that LL do not have to deduct US taxes from the money we are cashing out.

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I don't know or even care how the US TAX law works all I know is this requirement by Linden Labs is not new.

Every website based in the USA which allows third parties (merchants) to sell on their platform has to ensure their legal papers are in order to continue trading.

If you set up a seller account on Renderosity.com or contentparadise.com you are required to complete one of a hand full of TAX forms depending on where you live.

Some will not allow you to sell on through their website until you complete and return the form and others may allow you but will deduct 30% of your royalties and "withhold" that money for the USA Tax department.

EBay had a similar situation some years ago and it was speculated back then how long it would be before Second Life fell under the eye of the Tax offices.

I have 4 of these W-8BEN forms completed for various websites over the years, it's not new or unique and be thankful you have not had to pay TAX until now. That said, it may open a can of worms if someone has made thousands of dollars over months or years and not declared it and now complete their TAX ID paperwork as every single Process Credit is on record under the Process Credit History and LL are required by Law to provide that information to any governing bodies 

Those people who are angry that they finally have to declare their secret and private income I say "Grow up"

Seriously... There are people cleaning public toilets on minimum wage who pay TAX and don't grumble.. Why should we?

 

 

 

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