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[[I am a novice and planning to open an brokerage account with Datek. I am a
foreigner living in the States. I was told that there will be 30% tax withholding on
the dividend. Is this regular? Is there any way that I can reduce this withholding
and only report it when filing tax return?]]

It all depends on your "status". If you are a non-citizen and a non-resident, then you'll be subject to this 30% withholding (or lower rate, depending if your home country and the US has a tax treaty) on interest and dividends. But the good news is that you'll not owe taxes on any capital gains generated by your stock.

But if you are a resident alien (living in the US for a certain number of days of the year), then you'll pay taxes on ALL of your income, just like any normal US citizen.

So what you'll really have to do is determine your status. You might want to go to the IRS web site and download/read IRS Publications 519 and 901 for a LOT more information...and even how to determine what your US tax status actually might be.

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