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I have now received certain forms from the U.S.
Datek have sent me a W-8BEN(October 1998) which looks suspiciously like an updated version of the W-8(November 1992)that Comsec have sent me. Comsec also sent a Form 1001 (Sept 1995)"Ownership, Exemption, or reduced rate certificate".

At this stage I think I'll go with Datek, when I can russle up the AUD$3k+ to kick off an account.

could you shed some light on these forms and a laymans summary of the tax treatment (ie withholding tax)or point me to relevant message numbers previously posted on (US) tax

Fool in limbo
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Davo--before you commit to Datek you might want to read what two month's ago's Smart Money magazine had to say about American on line trading firms--Datek, as I recall, ranked to the bottom of the list due to computer problems, customer service and delays. You should be able to get at it at I seem to recall their ranking Mariel Seabart and Co first--but I don't know if that's an option for you in Oz.

Christina--thanks for the sporting rebuttal--I would have been quick to give it but you beat me to the punch--I also would have gone ahead and bragged about being a cricket fan which would have further confounded those who find Americans to be some what thickwitted and dull when it comes to any sport. :>)

Cheers and Fool On,
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I'm currently living in the US and therefore not eligible for the exemption, so I've never filled in a W-8. But, thanks to the crash in the oil price 6 months ago, I'll be home in two months and will have to complete one then.

I think the form works similar to declaring "tax file nos." in OZ, i.e., the bank/broker doesn't withhold the maximum tax rate from interest/dividends.

Reading the form, I interpret that any dividends you get from US companies will still be subject to withholding tax of 30% (if you fill the W-8 form in). Otherwise, they'll be subject to an extra 20%.

Hope this helps,...Brett
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