I recently sold my Tesla shares, but realized afterwards that my W-8BEN was expired. In accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations, my broker (Computershare) withheld taxes on payments at the applicable rate of 24% on uncertified accounts.
How can I claim this US tax back from the share sale?
If the sale of shares occurred in 2021 or earlier, you will only be able to claim back the US tax withheld by filing a 1040NR US tax return. You have 3 years from the due date of the tax return, to claim back the over withheld taxes from the IRS. For example if you sold in 2018, you have until June 2022 (this includes a 2 month extension for being outside the US as a non resident) to reclaim the money, else you lose the claim forever.
How do I claim back the US tax held on my US share sale?
The US broker will issue either a 1042-S or 1099 or 1099-B to you at some point the following year. This document is required to be attached to the tax filing (1040NR in the case of a non US resident). Once received, Just Breve as an Enrolled Agent, can assist with the tax filing and US tax reclaim of the over paid US tax.
A 1040NR tax return has to be paper filed for all first time filers with an ITIN application (see below) if the claimant has no US TIN.
All tax returns will take up to 6 months to be processed due to ongoing delays at the IRS (because of Covid) - this is accurate as of January 2022.
I don't have a US tax identification number (SSN or ITIN)
If you do not have a tax identification number, the IRS will hold the tax return until you receive it. If you are a non resident of the US, you can apply for an ITIN which is a tax processing number (it does not allow you to work in the US).
Just Breve is a certifying acceptance agent (CAA) with the IRS. We are able to assist with the full ITIN application (Form W-7) and certify your identity documents so you can hold on to them instead of mailing them to the IRS.
Just Breve has a license as a certified acceptance agent with the IRS. All CAA's are required to see the ORIGINAL identity documents in hand (we are not allowed to see them just via a video call), We offer both video based appointments where you can mail in your original documents (and they are returned after the call) or face to face appointments either at the office (based near London Heathrow) or at a location convenient for you.
All fees are provided in advance for all ITIN applicants and include dealing with the IRS to ensure the ITIN is issued. Please note, we only accept eligible ITIN applicants. If you are not eligible, you will be advised as such.
What do I do about my expired W-8BEN?
You need to ensure you resubmit a new W-8BEN to the US broker to stop any further US tax being held on any further US stock and US share sales. This also applies to US dividends from a US corporation (listed on an appropriate US stock exchange).
The W-8BEN expires automatically after 3 years. So please ensure to diarise the date sent or check if the US broker has a notification facility (e.g. by email or post) to advise you of the expiry.
Contact Just Breve today:
T - 0208 1444632
If you need help completing a W-8BEN we can also assist for a reasonable nominal fee.
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