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Irish tax treatment of US-domiciled distributing ETFs ?

  • 03-03-2022 1:02pm
    Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭

    I am trying to establish the definitive position for Irish taxpayers regarding the tax treatment of US-domiciled distributing ETFs.

    I've read a lot of discussion about taxation of ETFs on various forums. Some of it is a little vague, or confusing, contradictory, or not applicable to me. 

    Here is the example that I would like to establish the tax treatment of:

    * An Irish national, resident in Ireland, paying tax in Ireland, filing an annual return to Revenue.

    * Have an old US brokerage account that still contains and allows purchase of US ETFs.

    Scenario 1.

    Say on the 1st of Jan 2022, I purchased $10,000 of a US based ETF - for for example SCHB - Schwab US Broad Market ETF.

    Say it pays a yield of 1% or $100 during 2022. The US tax authorities take 15% of this $100 in withholding tax, as I have a W8-BEN form filed with the brokerage account.

    As I understand it, I should declare this $100 income on my Form 11 for 2022 and the fact that I have already paid 15% US withholding, 

    I get relief for the 15% paid, then pay the balance of Irish income tax, PRSI and USC owed on the dividend.

    As far as I can see, this is the same as any other US dividend-paying equity.

    So far so good on dividend income.

    Then, in terms of the 8 year deemed disposal of US-domiciled distributing ETFs:

    Fast forward to 2030. I still hold the same shares of the SCHD ETF. The shares are now worth $15,000 and I'm still getting a yield of 1% per year and declaring this income to Irish Revenue annually.

    I don't want to sell SCHD at that point, as I want to keep the ETF for the long term.

    Question: Do I owe Irish tax for 2030 for this ETF under the deemed disposal rules? i.e. 41% on the $5000 notional gain ($15,000-$10,000)

    It seems that there are some differences in the tax treatment depending on where the ETF is located and when the ETF was purchased.

    EU and UK ETFs seem to be subject to the "8-year deemed disposal" rule. What, if anything, changed from Jan 1 2022?

    Can anyone clarify the position?

    Scenario 2.

    Say, in 2014, I purchased $10,000 of a US based ETF - for for example SCHB - Schwab US Broad Market ETF.

    Now it's 2022, 8 years later. The shares are now worth $15,000 and I'm getting a yield of 1% per year, declared to Irish Revenue annually and income tax paid.

    I don't want to sell SCHD, as I want to keep them for the long term.

    Question: Do I owe any additional Irish tax for 2022 for this ETF under the deemed disposal rules? - Y/N

    Or is it simply 33% CGT when I finally do decide to sell it?

    Is the Revenue guidance unclear for US ETFs? Does anyone actually know?



    Post edited by pathogan2008 on


  • Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭pathogan2008

    Or am I better off avoiding US ETFs altogether, and just pick a diversified portfolio of individual stocks - or buy something like BRK.B.

    BRK.B has the advantage of not paying a dividend and thus no annual income tax to be paid.

    On the other hand, when Warren B dies (he's 91), I expect some short term disruption to the value of the stock.

  • Registered Users Posts: 895 ✭✭✭MiketheMechanic

    Did you figure this out?

    I have pretty much the same questions.

    Hopefully, the experienced people on here can weigh in


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭Viscount Aggro

    Revenue have withdrawn their guidance on tax treatment of non-UCITS funds.

    I know, its as clear as mud now.

    I am invested only in UCITS funds, as I dont want the problem of US estate taxes, FX risk and other reasons.

    I invested over 10 years back, so I am sticking with those rules.

    ETFs - yeah, I bought shares. Thats how I view them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 105 ✭✭HillCloudHop

    So you are treating your UCITS ETFs as normal shares and are ignoring deemed disposal as you bought them before DD was introduced?