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I have some Dutch stocks, held personally. Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, Heineken. The withholding rate is 15% on all; that may be due to a treaty provision, but that's the most common rate I see.

You're right - the foreign withholding is lost, for an IRA or other retirement account (or if an exempt org.) So, either accept that as an additional investment expense, if you really love the stock, or keep foreign stocks in a personal account.

Note - for about the last 10 yrs. or so, there has been no withholding on British stocks' dividends. That might be a consideration if you want some non-US stocks in your IRA.

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