All dividends from your international holdings will be paid in a cash format into the matching cash account (i.e. dividends for US holdings will be paid to your USD account, while dividends from HKEX holdings are paid into your HKD account).
A small processing fee is also applied to international dividends by the custodian, PhillipCapital Pte Ltd. The fee is distributed across all holders of that stock, therefore is not a fixed percentage or dollar amount.
What is 'withholding tax' and how is it applied to my international dividends?
Withholding tax is a special tax levied on dividends paid to you as a beneficial owner of international securities. Withholding tax is applied against the gross profit of your dividend received. The after-tax dividend amount can be viewed by navigating to Trading Account > Cash Account on the SelfWealth website or in your SelfWealth Annual Statement.
The US withholding tax rate is typically 30% however, under the United States-Australia Tax Treaty, this amount is reduced to 15% in most cases.
A W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E form must be completed in order to claim the lower rate of withholding tax for US shares. As completion of this form is compulsory for SelfWealth clients setting up a US trading account, the reduced treaty tax rate will automatically be applied to your dividends.
Hong Kong Stocks
For most stocks listed on the Hong Kong Exchange, there is no withholding tax on dividends. The only exception is for stocks classified as 'H-Shares', for which there is a 10% withholding tax deduction.
H-Shares are companies that are incorporated in mainland China. To find out if a stock is an H-Share, you can search for the company on the Official HKEX website, where it will be listed in the stock title as shown in the example below.
Can I choose for my international dividends to be reinvested?
Due to the custodial ownership structure of international holdings, all dividends are paid in cash to your cash account. It is not possible to receive your dividend as shares. Once the dividend is paid to your cash account you can choose to purchase additional securities if you wish.