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Author Topic: Non-US Person Refunds of Tax Withheld  (Read 1506 times)

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« on: October 15, 2017, 23:16 »
0
Hi,
I know this subject has been touched upon, apologies for bringing it up again however I have not been able to find any info regarding if it is possible for a Non-US Person to receive a Refunds on US Tax Withheld?
Some of the stock sites (getty, shutterstock) withhold tax for sales made in the states at the withholding rate (depending what the tax treaty is with your country).

Has anyone who is not a US citizen who has filed a W8BN form (which is a given now with ever stock site) ever been able to claim the tax withheld amount back by lodging some kind of form with the IRS?
I have attempted to look into it a few times but have always given up. I was recently discouraged by a site that says "In general, amounts withheld for U.S. taxes are non-refundable".
Is this true? Anyone living outside the US that is not a citizen of the US every claimed the withheld tax?


« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 00:52 »
0
I also couldn't find any useful information about this. But when I filed my taxes this year I asked the person at the tax office and they said it was very unlikely I'd be able to claim the tax back.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 02:13 »
+1
The general gist is... nobody can claim it back. Ever. Unless maybe it was withheld incorrectly. However, if you live in a country that has a double taxation treaty with the US, then you should be able to use it to offset the amount you pay in your own country. So if your tax liability is $10,000 in country X, and you've already paid $3,000 to the IRS, then your tax liability to country X will be reduced to $7,000... so you don't have to pay any more than you should.

If you live in a country that doesn't have a double taxation treaty with the US, then you probably won't be able to do that.

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert. This is based on multiple reports from varying stock contributors around the world... none of whom have mentioned ever getting a refund from the IRS. This advice will vary by country, and possibly individual, and there may be exceptions... so always check with a tax professional!

« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2017, 03:25 »
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Thought as much but wanted to confirm as it is stated as 'withheld', under domestic IRS tax laws means recoupable.. not so for us Aliens.
Thanks for the replies and nice disclaimer SpaceStockFootage.. may need a disclaimer for the disclaimer if you are not a lawyer :)

I will look into the double taxation treaty for my country.

Cheers again!

« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2017, 05:35 »
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if you live outside the US, there is a 28% tax withholding that you are subject to unless you live in a country that has a tax treaty with the US and an exemption. All o fthe countries that have tax treaties, and exemptions on the 28% tax withholdings, are all 'industrialized' nations like the UK, Australia, Canada, etc. you can search google for the list of countries that are subject to the tax withholding.

« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2017, 12:35 »
0
if you live outside the US, there is a 28% tax withholding that you are subject to unless you live in a country that has a tax treaty with the US and an exemption. All o fthe countries that have tax treaties, and exemptions on the 28% tax withholdings, are all 'industrialized' nations like the UK, Australia, Canada, etc. you can search google for the list of countries that are subject to the tax withholding.

I'm in Canada. I've only ever dealt with iStock and they don't withhold the US tax once you fill out the proper forms. I was looking at 500px recently and it's not clear to me whether they honor the exemption.

This is what it says on their web site:

"According to U.S. tax law, 500px must withhold a percentage of payments to citizens and entities in other countries depending on the tax treaties, and remit these withholdings to the government.

At the beginning of each year, 500px will use the information in your W-8 form to send you a document called a Form 1042-s. This document will outline the amount you were paid out by 500px and the amount of tax withheld in the previous year. If you are filing a Local Tax Return in your country of residence, you may be able to use the 1042-s to claim a foreign tax credit for the taxes withheld."


The second paragraph suggests that if the US tax is withheld at source, the best you can do is get a credit against your tax bill in your own country.

I'm not sure if the wording "...depending on the tax treaties..." in the first paragraph means they do in fact spare Canadians. I'd be interested in hearing from any Canadians here who sell on 500px whether they're exempted from the withholding.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 22:53 »
+1
None of them should be withholding anything if you're from a country with a 0% tax treaty, and have filled out the relevant forms.

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