US dividends: Wondering about your tax experiences

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 3rd, 2019 7:14 pm
Sr. Member
Jun 27, 2012
913 posts
Winnipeg, MB

US dividends: Wondering about your tax experiences

I got a very generous dividend from a US stock but was surprised to see a huge withholding tax because it was designated as a partners type business. It was about 37%. Wondering what are the chances I can get that back.
And what if I don't make anything this year....there would be nothing to write it off on.

Then there are dividends from US stocks that aren't partnerships.
Are you people getting anything back for that if you don't make any capital gains over the year?
And if you are making capital gains did you get all of that US tax back?
4 replies
Jr. Member
Jun 17, 2018
118 posts
Hamilton, Bermuda
If this is not in a registered account, you can claim a tax credit when filing your 2019 tax return. If you don't make enough income to pay taxes in 2019, this tax credit is worthless to you... Also, if this withheld tax is in a TFSA or RRSP, it's gone forever... ... redit.html
Penalty Box
Dec 2, 2014
405 posts
Toronto, ON
Stay in school kids
Deal Addict
Jan 18, 2014
1471 posts
atomee wrote: Stay in school kids
What do you mean by this?
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 8, 2007
1089 posts
Fraser Valley, BC
The only type of US dividend I've experienced is a regular cash dividend, my Canadian broker takes 15% of the amount and gives it to the US government, it shows up as a withholding tax on my brokerage statements. I assume that money is gone forever, but I can get a deduction on my Canadian tax return as a foreign tax paid.

Last tax year I used one of the big online tax preparer systems, it chose for optimization reasons to split my foreign tax deduction into 2 parts that went on 2 lines of my return. That triggered an inquiry by CRA as in this day of less paper for them to look at, they wanted to know where the amounts on the 2 lines came from. This took me a while to figure out and explain, a situation I do not enjoy.

Next year I will try to get the tax software to put the foreign withholding tax on only the usual single place, so as to keep my return nice and easy to understand by myself and CRA. That way I will avoid another time-consuming inquiry from CRA. Simpler return equals no questions asked by CRA (I hope).