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Royalties - Author FAQs


Personal details

General Tax

UK Income Tax


Australian taxation



Other Enquiries

Important Notice

This document has been prepared to provide answers to the questions we are most frequently asked by our authors.

The answers include some general comments on the income tax and VAT treatment of the royalty income we pay. Please note these comments are provided as a general guide; but they cannot and do not represent formal advice to the authors or their advisers.

If any author is in any doubt about the tax treatment of their royalty income they should take their own tax advice.

Cambridge University Press: April 2014


'When will I get paid?'

Your royalty earnings are calculated on royalty sales made during the July-December period of the previous calendar year. A royalty payment will not be made to you if the amount due is below the minimum payment level on your royalty account, but will be carried forward to the following statement. Your statement and payment should reach you by 30th April, but please allow a further 21 days for any postage delays before contacting us.

A six month calculation of royalties takes place, based on sales made during the January – June period of the calendar year. A royalty payment will not be made to you if the amount due is below the minimum payment level on your royalty account, but will be carried forward to the following statement. If you qualify for an October payment, it should reach you by 31st October, but please allow a further 21 days for any postage delays before contacting us.

Advances will be paid according to your contract.

'In which currencies are you able to pay royalties?'
  • Sterling (GBP)
  • US dollar (USD)
  • Australian dollar (AUD)
  • Euro (EUR)

Our standard methods of payment are Sterling cheque, US Dollar cheque, Australian Dollar cheque and Euro cheque. Direct transfers can be made via BACS to a UK bank account, without incurring bank charges. We can also issue payments via wire transfer to Australian, US or Euro bank accounts, but bank charges may be deducted. Please contact the Royalties Department directly for a copy of the required agreement form.

Alternatively, you may opt to have your royalties paid into a non-UK bank account (see 'I want royalty payments to be made into a non-UK bank account. 'I want royalty payments to be made into my non-UK bank account.’), whereby payment is made in Sterling and converted by your bank at its current rate of exchange. Bank charges may be incurred for payment into a non-UK bank account.

'I want royalty payments to be made into my UK bank account.'

To arrange for royalty payments to be made directly into your UK bank account, please complete the online form available on AuthorNet. Direct payments to UK bank accounts are made through BACS and can take up to four working days to reach your nominated account.

'I want royalty payments to be made into a non-UK bank account.'

We can make payments into certain non-UK bank accounts if the net payment due exceeds £100. Please note that the values on any royalty statements relating to such payments are shown in Sterling and that any bank charges incurred by Cambridge University Press will be deducted from the payment value. If you wish for your royalties to be paid using this method we will need you to fill in an agreement form and provide your SWIFT/BIC code and IBAN. Please contact the Royalties Department directly for a copy of the agreement form.

We can now make wire transfers into US, Australian and Euro bank accounts but bank charges may be deducted. Again, please contact the Royalties Department for the agreement form.

'I want my royalty payments to be made to a third party.'

If you want your royalty payments to be made to someone other than yourself, please contact your commissioning editor with details of the person or entity who will receive your payments.

'How is the exchange rate determined for the calculation of royalties?'

The exchange rate used for the calculation of royalties in April is the average rate for the preceding December. The exchange rate used for the calculation of royalties in October is the average rate for the preceding June. We apply the same method of exchange rate calculation year-on-year to ensure uniformity.

'What is the minimum payment value? Can I opt for it to be set at a different level?'

The minimum payment value is set at £50/US$50/AUS$50/ €50 per contract for all new authors. You may opt at any time for the level to be increased. This may be beneficial to you if, for example, it is not economical for you to cash a cheque because of the bank charges involved. Please contact the Royalties department with a more appropriate minimum value if you wish to increase the level.

'Is it possible for Cambridge to delay payment of my royalties for tax reasons?'

No. We cannot delay the payment of royalties to help you defer any tax liability.

You may apply for a refund of any UK tax deducted by contacting HM Revenue & Customs.

HM Revenue & Customs: Home Page

Personal Details

In order to ensure your April and October statements are sent to the correct address, please ensure that you have provided us with any new details by the following time periods.

  • End of February for April statements
  • End of August for October statements

This is because we need to start printing our statements a month in advance to ensure timely delivery.

'I have changed my address. Who should I inform and how?'

If you wish to change your Royalties correspondence address, please send written confirmation by email, fax or letter to the Royalties department at Cambridge University Press. Please note that we are unable to accept address changes over the telephone.

'I have moved abroad. How does this affect my royalty payments?'

Please notify the Royalties department so that we can ensure that correspondence is sent to the correct address. If you have left the UK and become tax resident in another country, your UK income tax liability may change. You may also have to report your royalty income in your new country of residence. You can also opt for your royalties to be paid in a different currency if this is more convenient for you. Please see 'In which currencies are you able to pay royalties?'.

'I have changed my bank details. What do I need to do?'

If your royalties are paid into your bank account and you have changed your account details, please notify the Royalties Department immediately, in writing, to avoid payments being issued into the wrong bank account. Cambridge University Press cannot be held responsible for payments going astray if you have failed to notify us of changes to your bank account details.

If you suspect that a payment may have already been made into the wrong account, please consult your bank first. Sometimes payments are re-routed by the bank from the old account to the new one, especially if the account is still held with the same bank.

We require confirmation that a payment has been rejected before we can re-issue it, so it is essential that we hold the correct bank details for you.

General Tax

'Which payments should I report on my annual tax return?'

If you are a UK resident individual or trust and you are required to file a Self-Assessment tax return; you should report your royalty income for the tax year in which it is received (not the period for which it is earned). For example, a payment received in April 2014 should be reported in your 2014/15 income tax return, even though the royalties were earned from sales made in July-December 2013.

If you are not a UK individual or trust, or are resident in another country for tax purposes; you should seek advice on how your royalty income has to be reported.

'I need a 1099 form in order to complete my US tax return.'

As Cambridge University Press is UK resident, and royalty payments are made from the UK, we are not required to issue 1099 forms. Your royalty statement should provide all the information you need for your US income tax return.

UK Income Tax

'Should UK Income Tax have been deducted from my royalties?'

Cambridge University Press has recently completed the implementation of a new royalties management system and, as part of that exercise, undertook a thorough review of the UK's latest withholding tax rules (i.e. when we have to deduct income tax at source and when we do not).

The rules are complex but, in general, we no longer deduct UK Income Tax from professional authors, UK registered companies and some charities. For this purpose we consider a professional author to be the original author or creator of the copyright.

Tax liability is defined on a product by product basis. Broadly, if you created and own the copyright your royalties will be paid without deduction of UK income tax. If you own the copyright but did not create the work, then UK Tax may be deducted.

If we are required to deduct UK income tax, tax will be deducted from all royalty income payable to UK residents; but for non-UK residents, tax will be deducted from royalties on UK sales only.

'Can I claim any relief from UK income tax?'

If we are required to deduct UK income tax, but you are resident in a country that has a tax treaty with the UK, you may be entitled to a reduced rate of UK income tax under the treaty. To apply for relief under the treaty you must complete an application form and send it to your local tax office. Further information and downloadable forms to apply for tax relief are available from the HM Revenue & Customs website.

If your country of residence is not listed, please email the Royalties Department to obtain a form. Please note that the Royalties Department cannot offer any advice on completion of the forms. If you need further assistance you should contact HM Revenue & Customs' directly:
HM Website find a form

If treaty relief is granted, HM Revenue & Customs will provide us with a reference number and certificate for you. The certificate covers all titles on which you are paid royalties by Cambridge University Press. Relief is usually granted for an indefinite period (subject to you continuing to declare your tax in the same country), but occasionally a period is stipulated. If the certificate expires, it is your responsibility to re-apply for relief.

'Can I reclaim UK income tax that has already been deducted from my royalties?'

If UK Income Tax has been deducted from a royalty payment made to you, a Certificate of Deduction of UK Income Tax will be enclosed with the payment. If you are resident in a country that has a tax treaty with the UK, you should be able to reclaim for all or part of the income tax deducted. To make the claim you need to complete and send the relevant form to HM Revenue and Customs. The exact process will depend on whether you are a company or an individual, and where you are resident for tax purposes. For current guidance on the correct procedure for your circumstances please go to:

HMRC Individuals

HMRC Companies

Please note that Cambridge University Press cannot refund any tax deducted.

'I have moved to another country. Do I need to reapply for treaty relief?'

If you have become resident in another country, and that country also has a tax treaty with the UK, then you will need to make a new application for treaty relief.

If this is the case please let us know, otherwise we will assume the tax status has changed and we may be required to deduct UK income tax from your royalty income.

'Do I need to apply for tax exemption for each of my titles and for each publisher for whom I write?'

One application for relief covers all titles on which you are paid royalties by Cambridge University Press. If you write for another publisher, we cannot use the same tax relief reference number, and you will need to make a separate application for relief.


'I have registered/de-registered for VAT. What do I need to do?'

If you have registered for VAT, it is primarily your responsibility to issue a tax invoice to Cambridge University Press for the royalty income payable to you. However this is not a practical approach and so we operate a self-billing system.

Therefore you must notify us if you register for VAT and we will send you a VAT self-billing agreement to complete (including your VAT details), sign and return. Once we have received the signed self-billing agreement we will apply UK VAT to all payments we make to you. Please remember it is your responsibility to ensure that you pay the VAT charged to HM Revenue & Customs in your own VAT returns.

In accordance with HM Revenue & Customs guidelines, the VAT self-billing agreement must be renewed annually. We will notify you when the agreement is due to expire but, if you fail to return the new self-billing agreement, we will assume that you are no longer VAT-registered and VAT will not be applied to future royalty payments.

If you have de-registered for VAT, it is your responsibility, under the terms of the self-billing agreement, to inform us in writing immediately.

'I am VAT registered, but VAT was not added to my royalty payment.'

In this situation you should contact the Royalties Department immediately. We will then send you a VAT self-billing agreement, which should be signed and returned, with your invoice for the VAT due on your royalties. On receipt of the invoice we will arrange for the VAT to be paid to you (which you are responsible for sending to HM Revenue & Customs) and for VAT to be added to future payments of royalty income.

'Does VAT apply to all royalty earnings?'

Yes. If you are VAT registered VAT is calculated on your gross royalty earnings, regardless of their origin.

Australian taxation

'Why have you deducted tax of 46.5% from my royalties?'

A deduction has been made because we have not received notification of your Australian Business Number (“ABN”) or a signed declaration that you are a hobbyist. We are therefore required to deduct Australian Withholding Tax (“PAYG”) on all your royalty earnings.

All Withholding Tax deductions are reported to the Australian Tax Office. All ABN numbers are validated via the Australian Government Tax website.

'I have an Australian Business Number (“ABN”) but you have deducted Australian Withholding Tax from my royalties. What should I do now?'

You should report your ABN to the Cambridge Royalties Department at the earliest opportunity to avoid any further deductions. Please apply directly to the Australian Tax Office if you wish to claim a refund for the Withholding Tax already deducted.

'I am registered for Australian Goods & Sales Tax (“GST”), but GST was not added to my royalty payment.'

GST is only added to your royalty payment once we receive your notification that you are GST registered. We are not notified by the Australian Tax Office.

If GST has not been added to your royalty payment, you should send an invoice for the GST due to the Cambridge Royalties Department, along with signed documentation stating your ABN and that you are GST registered.


'Why didn't I receive a statement in April/October?'

Statements are issued to all authors on a six monthly basis, regardless of whether a payment is due or not. A statement will not be dispatched if your account is on hold. If you have not received a statement it may be for one of the following reasons:

  1. All of your titles are out of print;
  2. You have changed address and not informed the Royalties Department;
  3. You have assigned all rights to your titles to a third party.

If you require a duplicate statement, please email the Royalties Department. PDF copies of statements are also available from our AuthorNet website.

'I don't understand my statement.'

If you require any assistance with your statement, please contact the Royalties Department directly, quoting your author account number shown on the cover page of your statement.

'No Certificate of Deduction of UK Income Tax was enclosed with my statement.'

If tax has not been deducted from your royalty income then a Certificate of Deduction of UK Income Tax will not be included with your statement. See 'Should UK Income Tax have been deducted from my royalties?'

'What is the account number for at the top of my statement?'

The account number on your statement is your unique reference that you should quote when contacting the Royalties Department. The account number enables members of the Royalties Department to access your address details, payment method, and other information we hold, quickly and accurately.


'What is AuthorNet?'

AuthorNet is a dedicated website for Cambridge authors. It contains guidelines for submitting book proposals and information about the book production process. It is also a secure area for existing Cambridge authors to view their royalty statements and sales figures and order Cambridge books online with up to 40% discount. AuthorNet

'What is Author Hub?'

Author Hub allows authors to engage with readers online. This site provides you with the tools you need to start blogging, set up a LinkedIn profile and create an author Facebook page, amongst other useful resources. Author Hub

'I am a contributor and I don't have an account number. How can I obtain this information?'

Some AuthorNet services are not currently accessible to authors or contributors who do not receive royalty payments. However, you may still take advantage of the many resources on offer without the need to log on (see menu options on the bottom left-hand side of the AuthorNet website), such as:

  • A book proposal preparation guide
  • A book production guide
  • Author questionnaires
  • Information about electronic publishing and production at Cambridge
  • The opportunity to subscribe to Cambridge Alerts

If you wish to place an order using your author discount, please email our Customer Services Department or call +44(0)1223 326050, or fax +44(0)1223 326111.

'Can I offset AuthorNet book purchases with my royalties?'

No. Royalty earnings cannot be offset against any book purchases.

Other Enquiries

'How many copies of my title have been sold to date?'

For any sales information, please log into AuthorNet or contact your editor directly. Sales fluctuate throughout the year and therefore the information provided should not be used as an indicator of anticipated royalty earnings.

'What discount am I entitled to as a Cambridge author/editor?'

As a Cambridge author you may buy copies of the books, e-books, DVDs or CDs that you have published with us at a discount of 40% off the UK price. This includes titles that you have written or edited, titles to which you are a contributor and titles in a series of which you are an editor.

You may also buy copies of any other Cambridge title with a discount of 30%.

You are also entitled to a 20% discount off the individual subscription rate for the first year of any new subscription to a Cambridge journal.

'How do I place a book order?'

You can now order online via AuthorNet, our dedicated website for Cambridge authors, using your account number and PIN. Alternatively, you can order by phone on +44 (0)1223 326050, or fax +44 (0)1223 326111.

Authors or contributors who do not receive royalty payments can still purchase books with their author’s discount if they email their order with details of the book(s) to which they have contributed to

If you wish to send your book to a third party, you should email our Customer Services Department with your order and delivery address. Please do not change your address on AuthorNet for such purposes, as doing so may result in your royalty correspondence being sent to the order delivery address.