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Payments, Bank & Tax FAQ

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Contents

Company Information

Q. Can I use special characters unique to my local language in completing the paperwork?

A. No, do not use special characters that are unique to a language other than English.


Q. Can I complete the paperwork as a partnership?

A. If you have a partnership registered in the United States or if your partnership exists outside the US and the partnership is taxed at the partnership level, then yes. However, if your partnership exists outside the US, and the partnership is taxed at the individual partner(s) versus the partnership level, then no. Due to the complexity of obtaining proper tax documentation, we cannot support such non-US partnerships as a legal entity within Steamworks.


Q. Can I enter an alias/nickname when I onboard?

A. No. You must enter your legal first and last name when onboarding. Do not enter an alias or nickname during the onboarding process.


Q. What should I enter as my Company’s Legal Name?

A. The name you enter must be the legal entity that owns or has rights to publish the game, and is the legal entity that will be signing the Steam Distribution Agreement. The company name you enter here must match the name as written on official documents with your bank and on United States IRS tax documents or foreign tax documents, if applicable.


Q. What should I enter as my Company’s Legal Name if I’m a sole proprietor?

A. Do not enter your Doing Business As (“DBA”) or “friendly name” or alias/nickname. Please enter your full legal name. The name you enter here must match the name as written on official documents with your bank and on United States IRS tax documents or foreign tax documents, if applicable.


Q. Where do I change my address?

A. You can change your address by clicking on the ‘View and edit company information’ from the Steamworks home page. Please contact the user who has Actual Authority rights for your organization on Steamworks (this is usually the person who completed the initial paperwork with Valve). Please note if you are changing your country of residence, you will be required to go through the tax interview again to establish your new rate of withholding tax based on your new circumstances.


Q. I changed my legal name (and banking and tax information). How do I effect this change on Steamworks?

A. We will have you re-onboard and create a new partner account in your new name. This will result in entering banking and tax in the new name as well. Once this is complete, we will have to send documents terminating the old company’s rights to the IP and move the games over from the old to the new company. Please use this form to contact us and provide us with the Steam account name that you wish to complete the digital paperwork.


Q. Are there certain countries/regions, entities or individuals Valve cannot do business with?

A. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. OFAC publish lists of such parties (Specially Designated National List) with whom Valve, as a US company, are prohibited from doing business with. In addition, OFAC administers trade sanctions and embargo programs against specific countries (Sanctioned Countries), such that unlicensed transactions involving those embargoed countries are prohibited or restricted. Many, but not all, of the limitations OFAC imposes are also enforced by other countries besides the US.

Valve does not do business with or otherwise engage in or facilitate transactions involving individuals or entities that are subject to sanctions or other applicable trade control restrictions. This includes, but is not limited to parties listed on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Foreign Sanctions Evaders (FSE) Lists maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In addition, we do not do business with or otherwise engage in or facilitate transactions with individuals or entities in Sanctioned Countries including Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.



Banking Account Information

Q. Can I release my games on Steam before I give valid bank information?

A. No. You will not be able to release games on Steam prior to providing us with valid banking and tax information.


Q. I see an error message that I don’t have the rights to change banking information.

A. In order to change banking information, you will need Actual Authority rights in Steamworks Manage Users. Actual Authority rights allow you to edit/view company information including company, banking and tax information. Please contact the user who has Actual Authority rights for your organization on Steamworks (this is usually the person who completed the initial paperwork with Valve). If no one in your Manage Users has Actual Authority rights, please use this form to contact us.


Q. How do I go about changing my bank information?

A. You can change your bank information by clicking on the ‘View and edit company information’ from the Steamworks home page. In order to change banking information, you will need Actual Authority rights in Steamworks Manage Users. Please contact the user who has Actual Authority rights for your organization on Steamworks (this is usually the person who completed the initial paperwork with Valve). If no one in your Manage Users has Actual Authority rights, please use this form to contact us.


Q. Can I receive payments in my PayPal account or other similar non-bank accounts?

A. No. Payments can only be received via bank-to-bank transfers.


Q. Are there any characters that I cannot / should not enter in my banking information?

A. You should only use English letters, numbers and spaces when entering your banking data. Do not enter dashes or spaces in the account, SWIFT or IBAN fields. Any other symbols may be accepted but will likely cause issues when we try to process your payments.


Q. Do you pay in currencies other than US dollars?

A. We pay in US dollars only. If your bank account is held in any other currency, the conversion to your local currency will be done by your bank when receiving the payment. Please check with your bank to ensure that they can receive USD – some banks will not accept USD. If your bank does not accept USD, you will need to provide banking information for a bank which will accept USD in order to receive payment.


Q. What is a SWIFT Code?

A. A SWIFT Code is the unique identification code for a particular bank in accordance with standards approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). These codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers, and also for the exchange of other messages between banks.

You can search for your SWIFT code using your Bank Name, City or Postal Code. If you don't know and can't find your bank's SWIFT Code, please contact your bank to obtain it.

When entering your SWIFT code, please do not enter spaces.


Q. What is a routing number?

A. It's a nine digit bank code which identifies a US-based financial institution. You can request this number from your bank or you can find it typically at the bottom of your check.

When entering your routing number, please do not enter spaces.


Q. What is an IBAN number?

A. The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an international standard for identifying bank accounts. It's typically used in Europe. See the link below for an IBAN validation tool to ensure you have provided us with a valid IBAN.

IBAN Validator

When entering your IBAN number, please do not enter dashes or spaces.


Q. What does Bank Country mean?

A. Bank country is where your specific bank branch is located and not the location of the bank’s headquarters.


Q. Where do I enter my correspondent bank’s information?

A. Please complete the banking section with your receiving bank information as we do not need the correspondent bank to complete a transfer.


Q. Can I enter a FFB (for further benefit) or FFC (for further credit) account?

A. No, your bank account information needs to be in your name directly. We cannot process payments that require additional instructions to complete.


Q. I keep getting the error message “The bank account holder name must match the name you have entered on Steam”. What do I do?

A. As mentioned above, you need to be using your legal name or your company's legal name to create your Steamworks account. All your banking and tax documents must match this name. Any variations (Mr J Smith vs. Joseph Smith) will not be accepted. The names need to match exactly. Sometimes it is helpful to copy and paste the name into the banking data entry screen. Please note, this means you cannot use someone else’s bank account to receive your payment.

You may be seeing this error if you entered a name into the 'Company Name' field in the first part of the digital paperwork that is not the account holder name on your bank documents. If your bank account payee name does not match the 'Company Name' you initially entered, then you need to either get a bank account under your company name, or you need to go back and enter your personal name in the Company Name’ field in the paperwork. To go back, click the green button on your Steamworks home page to continue the paperwork process. At the bottom of the page with bank and tax information is a button that says “Start over”. Click that to start the paperwork over and enter a different name as your company name.


Q. Is it possible to use a joint account?

A. The payee name on the bank account must match the Steamworks partner name. Generally, using a joint account will have additional names and therefore not work.


Q. Can I split payments for my sales?

A. No. We can only pay to one payee per Steamworks partner account.


Q. Is there a monthly cut-off for bank account changes?

A. Please note that we make payments by the 30th of the month and there is lead time to prepping the payments. In order to ensure your banking changes are accepted in the system in time for payments, please complete any bank changes by the 20th of the month.



Tax Information – Tax Interview

Q. Can I release my games on Steam before I give valid bank information?

A. No. You will not be able to release games on Steam prior to providing us with valid banking and tax information.


Q. How do I provide Valve with the tax information needed?

A. As part of the partner onboarding process, you will be provided a link to start the tax interview. The tax interview takes 5-10 minutes and will ask you a series of questions to guide you through the completion of either tax forms (W-9 or W-8BEN). You can also access the tax interview by clicking on the “View and edit company information” from the Steamworks home page.


Q. What do I need to have available before taking the tax interview?

A. We require all partners to provide valid taxpayer identification to comply with U.S. tax reporting regulations. For U.S. partners, your TIN is either an Employer Identification Number (EIN), or a Social Security Number (SSN). For Non-U.S. partners, a U.S. TIN or a foreign TIN is required to claim treaty benefits.


Q. Why am I seeing a non-Valve URL upon clicking the link to start the tax interview?

A. We use a service called TaxIdentity provided by a third-party company called Lilaham to conduct the tax interview.


Q. Can I save part way through the tax interview and continue later?

A. No. You cannot save part way through as the tax interview needs to be completed within the same instance. The tax interview takes 5-10 minutes.


Q. Can I use a name different than what I provided in Company Information to take the tax interview?

A. No. The tax interview needs to be in the same name as the name provided in Company Information.


Q. Why am I not getting an instant validation of my TIN?

A. The TIN is validated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This process is subject to IRS database outages that can delay the process. In addition, recently issued TINs can take up to 30 days to process as the IRS has to update the database which we check against.


Q. What happens if I retake the tax interview?

A. The prior tax interview will be deleted even though that tax information may have been verified and valid. The tax interview should only be retaken if there is a change in circumstance (ie. you moved to a different country) or there is additional information such as a U.S. or foreign TIN that was originally omitted.


Q. I’ve just moved. Do I need to retake the tax interview?

A. If your move is within the same country as provided in the original tax interview, then you do not need to retake the tax interview. If you have moved to a different country, you will need to retake the tax interview.



Tax Information – Withholding Taxes

Q. How much withholding taxes will be deducted from my payments?

A. At the conclusion of the tax interview, the withholding rate % will be provided to you. The withholding rate may range from 0% to 30% withholding on U.S. source income, based on the information you provided during the tax interview. If your withholding rate is 30% and your country of residence has a tax treaty with the U.S., you may want to retake the tax interview and provide a U.S. or foreign TIN in order to reduce the withholding rate. Countries that have tax treaties with the U.S. can be found here:

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/International-Businesses/United-States-Income-Tax-Treaties---A-to-Z


Q. What happens if there is no income tax treaty between my country of residence and the United States?

A. We will be required by the IRS to withhold 30% of your revenue share payment and remit these taxes to the IRS. You may want to consult with your tax advisors on whether you can recover these taxes as a foreign tax credit on your tax return.


Q. Why does my tax information show two withholding rates - one for royalty copyright and one for royalty film?

A. These are separate tax rates that are applied depending on the content type of your sales. The royalty copyright rate will apply to US sourced sales on games and related DLCs. The royalty film rate will apply to US sourced sales on film and video. These rates do not accumulate for a higher rate of withholding and only one rate will be applied depending on the type of sales.


Q. If I update my tax interview to include a US or foreign TIN and reduce my withholding rate will Valve refund previous amounts that have been withheld from my payments?

A. No, Valve does not refund withholding taxes when there is a rate change triggered by providing a TIN, as Valve would have already remitted those taxes to the IRS. You will need to consult with a tax specialist to understand if / how you will be able to recoup these funds.


Tax Information – US TINs

Q. Why do I need to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?

A. Generally, a foreign person is subject to U.S. tax on its U.S. source income. Most types of U.S. source income received by a foreign person are subject to a U.S. tax rate of 30%. A reduced rate, including exemption, may apply if there is a tax treaty between the foreign person's country of residence and the United States. In order to exercise the benefits under the tax treaty, you will need to complete a Form W-8BEN and that requires either a foreign TIN or a US TIN. Countries that have tax treaties with the U.S. can be found here:

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/International-Businesses/United-States-Income-Tax-Treaties---A-to-Z

If your country of residence is Slovakia, you will need to provide a US TIN in completing the Form W-8BEN to claim tax treaty benefits and apply an exempt withholding rate. A foreign TIN is not sufficient.


Q. Does applying for a TIN require me to file a U.S. tax return?

A. Applying for an ITIN for purposes to exercise the benefits under the tax treaty does not require you to file a U.S. tax return.


Q. What types of US TINs are there?

A. For non-U.S. persons, a TIN may be an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for individuals and businesses or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for individuals only.


Q. If I’m an individual, can I choose to apply for an EIN or ITIN?

A. Yes, an individual can apply for either an EIN or ITIN.


Q. How do I obtain a US TIN?

A. An Employer Identification Number (EIN), for individuals (you need to indicate you are a sole proprietor) and businesses, may be obtained over the telephone by calling (267) 941-1099. This is not a toll-free number and long distance charges may apply. An EIN may also be obtained through filing “Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number” by fax which takes approximately four business days and by mail which takes approximately four weeks. More information about Form SS-4 is available on the IRS website.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf


Q. How long does it take for the IRS to issue an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?

A. It may take a few months or longer to obtain an ITIN.



Tax Information – Reporting

Q. What reporting do you provide for tax purposes?

A. U.S. partners will have royalties earned in the prior tax year reported on the Form 1099-MISC. We issue these annual forms on or before January 31 each year.

Non-U.S. contributors will have U.S. source income reported annually on the IRS Form 1042-S. We issue these annual forms on or before March 15 each year, and is an informational statement of your US sourced royalties and any amounts withheld during the prior tax year. Please note, IRS Form 1042-S only contains reporting on the portion of your royalties that were earned on sales in the US. Generally you can expect IRS Form 1042-S to be less than actual cash received since it does not contain royalties on worldwide sales.



Payments

Q. Why haven't I received payments yet?

A. You must provide us with all completed bank and tax information before we can make payments to you. Please check to make sure that both pieces of information have been completed and verified.

If both pieces of information are complete and verified and you still don’t see a payment from Valve Corporation, please email us and we’ll put a trace on the payment. Please note that this process can take a few days before we can provide you with an update. If your payment failed and was returned to us, we will notify you of the reason for the payment failure so you can correct it. Once corrected, it will be included in the next monthly payment batch. We cannot make off cycle payments.


Q. What is your normal cycle of paying me?

A. We pay out by the 30th of the month following sales. For example, we will pay you for calendar February month sales by March 30th. It may take a few business days for the payment to post to your bank account. In that case, you may see the payment in your bank account during the first few days of April, following the example above.


Q. What method of payment do you use?

A. We will make your payments by Electronic Funds Transfer which is a bank-to-bank transfer. We do not currently offer any other payment methods – please ensure that you are able to receive payments in this manner. Valve is unable to provide additional documentation to help you receive your funds.


Q. I need to provide my bank with additional documentation regarding purpose of the payments. What do I do?

A. You can access the Steam Distribution Agreement (SDA) that you signed through the Steamworks onboarding process to show your bank proof of the incoming funds.


Q. Can you split my payment to more than one bank account?

A. No, payments are associated one to one with partner and account. Any splits or further payments that need to be made are your responsibility as we are unable to process multiple payments for one partner.


Q. Is there a monthly cut-off for bank account changes?

A. Please note that we make payments by the 30th of the month and there is lead time to prepping the payments. In order to ensure your banking changes are accepted in the system in time for payments, please complete any bank changes by the 20th of the month.


Q. I didn’t change by bank information in time for this payment cycle. Can you reissue payment to my new bank account?

A. We make payments once a month. If your payment is returned to us for any reason, it will be included in the next monthly payment batch. We cannot make off cycle payments.


Q. Why doesn’t the revenue share payment match to the amount I see in my bank account?

A. We pay the Total Revenue Share amount as indicated per the monthly Steam Sales Report. We don’t pass any wire fees to you but we cannot control bank fees that may be imposed on you by intermediary banks or your receiving bank.


Q. Bank fees consume a large portion of the payment that you send me for my Steam sales. Can I put payments on hold until the amount I will be receiving is larger?

A. We have recently added functionality to enable you to select a minimum threshold that will prevent payments from being sent until the earnings exceed that threshold. We know that there are costs associated with receiving wire transfers which may consume a significant portion of your payment.

Please log into Steamworks, select 'view/edit company information' in the lower right hand corner and then look for "Holding payment". You will find a drop down menu which will allow you to select a minimum amount under which your payments will be put on hold. In order to change your payment hold threshold, you will need Actual Authority rights in Steamworks Manage Users. Please contact the user who has Actual Authority rights for your organization on Steamworks (this is usually the person who completed the initial paperwork with Valve). If no one in your Manage Users has Actual Authority rights, please use this form to contact us.


Q. Is there a minimum revenue I must earn before I can receive a payment?

A. Yes. There are costs associated with issuing each individual payment as well as potential bank fees charged to you upon receiving money that make it prohibitive to pay out for small amounts of money. Therefore, we may hold your payment until a minimum of $100 payout is earned.



Sales Reporting

Q. Where can I see the amount of my sales for the month?

A. Your monthly Steam Sales Report is available to be viewed on the secure partner site (https://partner.steampowered.com/) under the “Reports Tab”. We recommend using the Firefox web browser for printing. As a reminder, you have access to intra-month information at any time at the same site.


Q. I don’t have access to log onto the secure partner site to view financials. Who should I contact?

A. You will need to contact someone from your company that has admin rights on the Steamworks partner account and have them add you to Manage Users and grant you permission to view financials. If you don’t already have a Steam account, you will need to create one at: https://store.steampowered.com/login/


Q. Why do the sales on the secure partner site differ from the sales reported in the monthly Steam Sales Report?

A. The ad-hoc sales information on the secure partner site represents Gross Revenues and does not deduct for Applicable Adjustments such as returns, chargebacks and taxes. Your monthly Steam Sales Report shows Gross Revenues less Applicable Adjustments to get to Net Revenue which then is multiplied by the revenue share % resulting in the amount to be paid to you. Please refer to the Steam Distribution Agreement which you signed for further details on Revenue Share Payment.


Q. Can I download the monthly Steam Sales Report into Excel?

A. On the home page of the secure partner site, beside the date selection, you will find a link to “view as .csv”. Alternatively, in the monthly Steam Sales Report which can be viewed on the secure partner site (https://partner.steampowered.com/) under the “Reports Tab”, you will find a link at the bottom of the report called “Steam Sales by Country” to download into Excel.


Q. Will I receive a notification when my monthly report is available to be viewed?

A. No, by the time payment is received, the monthly reports are published and available to be viewed.


Q. What does US revenue share on my report represent?

A. US revenue share is the portion of your payment that was earned on sales made in the US (the portion you will be paid is total less any withholding that is applicable). The US share is relevant to foreign partners where we need withhold taxes based on information provided during the tax interview This is the basis from which it is calculated. US share is also the portion that is included in the annual tax reporting.


Q. Where do I send my invoice?

A. We do not need to be invoiced. Payments are made monthly based on the amount owing. If you need to create an invoice for your own purposes, it does not need to be sent to Valve.



VAT and Sales Tax

Q. How does VAT work on Steam Sales?

A. We collect VAT in the following countries: Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, South Africa, India, Russia, Norway and all EU countries. In addition, we will be adding Australia, Serbia, and Taiwan when their laws become effective in 2017. In all other countries, we are selling cross-border and are not required to collect VAT. Steam pricing is VAT inclusive in all countries where amounts are collected. On a periodic basis, Valve remits VAT collected on sales to the appropriate tax authorities.


Q. What is the VAT rate on Steam Sales?

A. In the summer of 2012, we began doing business in the European Union through a new, wholly-owned Luxembourg subsidiary, Valve S.a.r.l. The VAT rate was determined by where the seller is located (i.e. Valve S.a.r.l.) and therefore, we were using the Luxembourg’s VAT rate of 15% on all EU sales. Effective January 1, 2015, VAT regulations were changed such that the VAT rate is determined by the location where the customers is based rather than where the seller is located. Therefore, EU country-specific VAT rates of where the customer is located apply and we are no longer be able to use a flat 15% VAT rate on EU sales. For all non-EU countries, the standard VAT rate for the applicable country applies.


Q. Do you charge sales tax and if yes, in what states?

A. We charge sales tax on Illinois and Washington state sales only. Sales tax is calculated and then added on top of the Steam Price. On a periodic basis, Valve remits sales tax to the revenue authorities.


Q. Do you pay us on amounts, net of taxes?

A. We pay you based on Net Revenues which is Gross Revenues less Applicable Adjustments. Gross Revenues includes VAT and sales tax, if applicable. Applicable Adjustments include taxes, returns and chargebacks. Net revenue is then multiplied by the revenue share % resulting in the amount to be paid to you, net of applicable withholding taxes. Please refer to the Steam Distribution Agreement which you signed for further details on Revenue Share Payment.


Q. What is my responsibility regarding VAT, sales tax, or other similar taxes?

A. We can only provide you with information on how we handle VAT and sales taxes. You will need to consult with your tax advisors on your own tax obligations. In the monthly Steam Sales Report which can be viewed on the secure partner site (https://partner.steampowered.com/) under the “Reports Tab”, you will find a link at the bottom of the report called “Steam Sales by Country”. This may assist you in calculating your own tax obligations, if any.



 

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