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I'm retired, living off my investments. I know you can claim a foreign tax credit, but my income is low enough that I pay no income tax. So I can't use the tax credit. Is there any other strategy to get this money back or are my choices either accept that I gotta pay the tax or get out of foreign stocks?

As far as I know there is no other strategy to get this money back. Since different countries lever different tax rates, you could focus on those countries that lever a small or no foreign dividend tax. One example of this is the United Kingdom, which has no foreign tax withholding.

(Just for the record: The US also has a foreign tax withholding. As far as I know it is either 30% or - if you file IRS Form W-8B with your broker that accepts such a form - it is 15%).

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