1) France takes 25% of the dividend unless a U.S. citizen in which case it is 15% 2) The 15% or 25% can be used as foreign tax credit on your 1040. If your charged 15% its a wash in that France gets the 15% instead of Uncle Sam. 3) If TOT in IRA then you lose the 15 or 25% as don't report IRA transactions. Now How do you get charged 15% instead of 25% 1) With E*Trade they have relationship with market maker and 15% automatic for ALL account types (self, IRA, Corp.) 2) With Wachovia Brokerage need to supply them with an IRS certification form 6166 in which you get up to 30 worldwide certs for $35. 3) Scotttrade and TD Ameritrade don't want to deal with a 6166 so lose 25% of dividend but maybe get it all back through 1040 process; but NOT IRA
[johnnov22] > which I will get back on my US taxes. Am I > missing something?
Maybe -- it depends on semantics. You don't really "get it back" on your federal taxes; rather, it counts as a credit (exactly like the child care credit, and kind of like any other payment) against your total tax due.
A previous respondent said it goes to France *instead* of Uncle Sam. That's a good analogy too.