How to buy and trade US shares in the UK
The US stock market is home to many mega-cap companies, including Apple, Google and Amazon. Learn more about buying and trading shares in a US-based company with our guide: how to buy and trade US shares in the UK.
Complete a W-8BEN form
No individual can buy US shares without a W-8BEN form – it is a requirement of the American Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Therefore, the second step to buying US shares in the UK is to fill out this form. You don’t have to download anything; it can be completed on our online platform. The W-8BEN is to confirm that you are not a resident of the US. It enables us to process an individual tax benefit on your behalf – a reduction of up to 30% in the amount of US tax you’re charged on dividends from the US shares you buy.
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View a full list of our charges for buying US shares
You can only buy US shares in US dollars. IG will automatically convert your pounds into US dollars, charging a foreign exchange fee of just 0.5%. Remember, because you’re holding non-sterling assets, you’re exposed to foreign exchange risk and any currency fluctuations will affect the value of your international shareholding.
IG is the only provider in the UK that offers extended hours on trading US shares. Because US companies release reports before and after the market closes, extended trading hours enable you to trade any subsequent price action.
There may be other charges and taxes including custody fees, additional services and physical share certificate costs. We may also charge you a fee if we are required to perform a service on your behalf that is not set out in our product details.
If you buy shares, you can also earn dividends if the US company pays them to shareholders. Dividends may be charged a ‘withholding tax’, which is equivalent to your UK basic rate income tax liability but exempts you from paying any further tax on your foreign dividends. Plus, if you already have investments in US shares, you can transfer your existing holdings to IG quickly and easily.
This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.