I am a Latvian who will be sent by my company to work in the United States. What are my U.S. tax obligations?
I am a Latvian citizen who has investments in U.S. stock and mutual funds. A U.S. tax of 15% was withheld from my dividend payments. Do I have to file a U.S. tax return and will the 15% be refunded?
No to both questions. U.S. dividend income paid to Latvian citizens is subject to a 15% withholding tax. If that amount has been withheld, you do not have to file a U.S. return as the correct tax liability has been paid. By the same reasoning, no refund is due.
For more information on taxes for foreigners, please consult the IRS publications (Nr. 513, 515, 519).
I am not an American and live outside the U.S., but I have U.S. investment income. Do I need a Social Security Number?
No, not at present, but you must send Form W-8BEN “Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding” to the financial institution which holds your investment to notify them of your residency and citizenship so that they will withhold the correct U.S. income tax. If an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is required and you do not have one, you must fill out the Form W-7 in order to receive one.
I purchased goods in the United States. Can I get the sales tax refunded?
There is no national sales tax system, such as Value Added Tax – VAT (Įltalįnos Forgalmi Adó) in the United States. Sales taxes are assessed by the individual states and cities, and as such each has complete autonomy in administering its taxes. Most states have no provision for sales tax refunds. There is no office in the U.S. Embassy which can provide any assistance in this matter.
We have been advised that Louisiana is the only state which provides a refund of sales tax for international visitors on goods purchased at participating stores.
You may contact the State of Louisiana at:
Louisiana Tax Free shopping
P.O. Box 20125
New Orleans, LA 70141
Telephone: +1 504 467-0723
Fax: +1 504 568-6670