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tax withheld on dividends


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It is my understanding that foreign withholding tax on dividends paid on shares held in an ISA is unrecoverable, i.e. we can't deduct it from other tax or declare it as a loss. Please correct me if I'm wrong. So, when making an investment decision, it would be good to know how much tax will be withheld. I've got some odd things going on in my account. Most companies traded in the US are withheld at 15%, but for some reason Canadian Pacific is taxed at 25.4%, and Regal-Beloit is not taxed at all (though it was at 15% previous to Nov. 2018). I've got two German companies, PNE AG and Energiekontor; Energiekontor is taxed at 26.3%, PNE was also, until 2019 when it dropped to 0%. Is there any logic to this? And is there any way of knowing in advance what the rate will be? So far I've had one dividend payment from an Australian company, untaxed, can I assume they all will be? I've had one from Ireland at 20%, and one from the Netherlands at 15%.

Any insight would be welcome.

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25 minutes ago, dmedin said:

I think you need an accountant to answer this for you.  The real reason we have such complex tax laws is to keep highly-paid accountants and lawyers in a job

But Economists are ok right..? 😉

@LisaH check out HMRC website, it is not the easiest read but should have everything you need.  Before you pay for expensive professionals you can always ask HMRC under the guise of what you need to do to fill in your tax return.  You can also ask whoever has provided you with the ISA, they should know the specifics but I think your statement is correct.  I also think that any tax recovery is down to your ISA provider not you, that would obviously be different for actual shares you hold in overseas companies.

So, if your question is exclusively about stuff in your ISA, contact your ISA provided.  If it is also about individual shares you own outside an ISA, try HMRC first.

Accountants 1 - Economist 0  HaHa...

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