For Finnish investor like myself, the following parameters needs to be obverved
- country (or in worst case countries) where the investor is taxed
- country (or countries) where the investor has brokerage account(s)
- country of incorporation (home country of the company)
- where company is listed
- an EU country
- a country with which Finland has a double taxation treaty (like USA)
The problematic cases I have encountered so far:
- France: withhelds more than assumed under tax treaty with Finland.
- Hong Kong: does not have tax treaty with Finland. Dividends are treated as regular income, which is progressively taxed in Finland (can go beyond 50%).
- British companies listed in USA: you might end up being withheld 15% while tax treaty assumes 0%.
(1) I have read also Germany, Switzerland and Denmark withhelds more than assumed in tax treaty with Finland.
(2) Any "tax haven" falls into same gategory than HK. E.g. Bermuda where many companies are incorporated even if otherwise clearly European or U.S. companies.
While the above is directly applicable only in Finland, I would assume that an investor in any country might encounter these type of cases. Recommend to check these issues upfront. In many cases I didn't and payed price for it.