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I received a dividend on a foreign stock (VE) that had a 30% tax withholding imposed on it. I have done a little research and - as I understand it - it seems I cannot recover any part of this tax because the position is held in a tax-deferred IRA account. Can anyone confirm (or correct) my understanding of this situation?

You are correct. The IRA is a separate legal entity which doesn't pay income tax. Thus, it has nowhere to apply the foreign tax credit.

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