U.S dividends taxation

In the following cases, I am assuming a U.S nonresident alien. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/nonresidentalien.asp

Case 1:
You invest with a Swiss broker, all ETFs based in U.S distributing dividends are taxed 30% by the Swiss administration.
15% can be refunded by Swiss administration.
The remaining 15% are not refundable.

Case 2:
You invest with a U.S broker, all ETFs based in U.S distributing dividends are taxed 30% by default.
You fill w8-ben, you will only be taxed at 15% by the IRS.
The remaining 15% can be reimbursed by Swiss administration.

The second case allows you not to be taxed on dividends, except for by the income tax.

Could someone confirm that ?

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any feedback ??? :wink:

I don’t know but they seems the same. In the first case 15% not refundable, in the second 15% kept by IRS? Isn’t it the same?
I personally go with IE based ETF and accept that I’ll lose 15% of tax - better so that to deal with IRS

Hi @wapiti,

I think that you are correct i both cases.
Check replies by @hedgehog here and here.

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I have a bit a similar question.
With my swiss broker when the dividends of my US shares are paid it tells clearly which amount in CHF can be recovered and which amount in CHF is in the pocket of the US administration for ever. Then when I fill my tax, I recover 15% when I fill the R-US formular and I get a discount on ma tax, equivalent to the 15% non recoverable, when I fill the DA-1 formular.
If I begin to have US position (VTI, VOO,…) with IB does it provides the proof (receipt of dividend) that will allow to claim my money back through the R-US and DA-1 formular. Does I have to pay IB some extra to have the correct document?

In this case, at the opening of your account, you will sign digitally the w8-ben form, US dividends will only be reduced by 15% (instead of 30% with a CH broker). Thus, the R-US is useless and shouldn’t be used. You will only fill the DA-1.

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VTI bought via IB, W8-ben done, 15% withheld by IB. When I select this fund it shows the entire dividend as taxable, is it correct?

Additionally I am trying to fill via BalTax, anyone have experience using it?
In BalTax the VTI fund doesnt come under DA1. its under ‘Werte ohne Verrechnungssteuerabzug (Rubrik B)’

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Yes it is correct, even what is left in the US is taxable but you can ask for a TAX discount with the DA-1. In other words: 100% of the dividend is taxable but you claim 15% of the dividend as discount on the DA-1.
I do not know how it works in Basel but my experience in Bern is that what you put on the DA-1 is not on the tax declaration. Only the sum of capital and income of the DA-1 is on your tax declaration.

@bamboo You are right.
However, tax softwares are developed by different companies in each canton. After a discussion with my colleagues, some are good and some horrible.

And not everyone is investing in U.S stock through a U.S broker…

Not everybody is smart.

Regarding the DA1 declaration. I was testing Fribourg Tax software and the DA1 and was wondering where does he calculates the 15%? The tool didn’t provide it automatically, so will IB send you the amount he is withholding, that you can deduct from your tax, or do you need to calculate yourself like dividend received*100/85 to get to total gross dividend ?

@Grog I used the Fribourg tax software myself to fill in the taxes for 2018. It was applying the 15%. There are two separate virtual sheets on which to fill in your assets, one being only for DA-1 products. I can pm you a screenshot EOD if it helps.

Thank you @brunodi
I saw the two different forms. I just never got a value to appear in the yellow fields on the DA1.

I’ll try again and the nping you for screenshots if necessary. Thanks, I am already reassured that you got it to work on Fribourg software :wink:

I hope someone can help me out here. It’s tax time in canton Bern.

I opened my IB account last year and during 2018 bought only VT and am trying to figure out what to fill in.

  1. I was charged a meager total of CHF 26.- withholding tax during the year. Am I correct in thinking that I don’t need to bother with form DA-1? (In the guide to filling out the declaration it states: “Beträgt der Anteil der nicht rückforderbaren ausländischen Steuern weniger
    als CHF 50.–, ist keine Rückerstattung möglich und daher auch kein separater Antrag
    auszufüllen. Die Deklaration in Formular 3 genügt.”)

  2. The program asks for the “Bruttoertrag pro stuck in CHF”. Would that be the total amount of the dividends divided by the amount of stocks I hold? It’s kind of confusing because the software also asks for the “Dividendentermin” and the amount of stocks held at that time. But according to the statement I have from IB dividends were paid on three separate days in 2018 (in my case). If anyone can enlighten me that would be great, otherwise I guess I’ll have to give the tax admin a ring.

  1. Correct. Below 50 not possible.
    Fill the “dividends minus the foreign tax paid” into the Column B of the Wertschriftenverzeichnis.
  2. A bit inconvenient, but best would be if you enter # of VT for each purchase date on separate lines. That way it should work out how many of those 3 dividend payments were made to you for each VT packet. If you bought on 1.1 then all 3, if in December none.
    I don’t have VT but surely that is in their database & should know when n how much.
    Ertrag pro Stück is Dividend per single stock or ETF.
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If you want the official tax data for VT, they’re in ictax: https://www.ictax.admin.ch/extern/en.html#/security/US9220427424/20181231


And what does it cost you to fill it out? You anyway put each title only in one place. And if you fill it out online, then you don’t need to print anything and all the totals are calculated for you. I would put it anyway on the DA-1. At least you will have some practice before next year.

You don’t divide anything! You just put each of the 4 dividends separately, with their own date. The dividend amount per piece in USD you can also see in the IB report. At least the ZH web form expects these two datas and then it fetches the USD-CHF exchange rate for that day and makes the conversion for you.


@rolandinho @Bojack Thanks for your answers. The BE input mask for stocks is not so helpful as ZH it seems. I think I figured it out. I read in a random spot in the interface that dividend payments on different dates should be entered under “Divers”. So under “Aktien” the taxable amount on the 31.12 is entered and in “Divers” there should be an entry for each of the dividend payments.

@Bojack About the DA-1: true, filling it out as practice is not a bad idea. :+1: