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This year, I did an internship in the US, and during that time I bought some stocks. Now I am back in Germany, and got dividend payments on these stocks, and also want to sell some of them soon. However, I still have to do my taxes for my time in the US. Do I have to declare my profits/losses/dividends in my US taxes or German taxes? Also, I will be in Canada soon. If I sell stocks while I am there, will I have to do a Canadian tax declaration?

The stocks were bought via the app Robinhood if that matters. Also, I am talking about small amounts, about $1000.

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    Capital gains are typically sourced to the country of your residence. At the time you sold the shares, were you a resident of the US or Germany [Note that being physically present in a place is not automatically the same as being a 'resident' for tax purposes]? Jan 14, 2020 at 14:23
  • So far I havent sold any shares, only got dividends (miniscule amounts, about 1.20$). I plan to sell them soon though. Jan 14, 2020 at 16:25

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If you have your investments in a US brokerage, then they will probably send a form to the IRS each year on your activity.

Since you haven't sold your investments, there are no capital gains to worry about. Just the dividend income. I believe you have to earn at least $400 in dividends for the IRS to even be interested.

The tricky part will be when you sell. If you are an American, then your income pretty anywhere in the world is at least potentially subject to taxation

But if you are living in another country and you cash out, your American brokerage is still going to send that report to the IRS. There may be some threshold where the IRS doesn't care too much, but I don't what that is.

In any case, the IRS is still going to think that the transaction took place in the USA and so should be subject to its taxes. You will have the burden to prove that your situation makes you exempt. I don't know how to do that either.

Next time maybe wait until you get to your permanent residence before investing. It may simplify your life in the long run.

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  • There's too much missing from this answer to be trusted; it misses some key information. Jan 16, 2020 at 0:44
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Sell the shares, file a 1040 with the IRS and declare it on the equivalent with Germany (just to be safe). Do you have to do that, probably not. So why bother? I doubt you will owe anything for such small amounts/gains anyway in either country and just be done with it.

Incidentally, I wouldn't bother messing around with stocks and other such investments until your life stabilizes and you figure out where you are going to be long-term, just stash away the cash and buy into the market when things become more certain in your life. There's nothing wrong with that.

Or you can try to keep them and file tiny tax returns every year, but that sounds like too much effort really.

Your other option you can choose to have Robinhood issue the stock certificates to you and you can carry them around with you from country to country paying the applicable taxes as you go, not keeping them in any brokerage, and not have them tied to any given country's tax laws. But then you need to make sure that your address is always current with the company that you own, etc. Plus you will have to declare that you have them when you enter a new country. And all of that is probably not worth the hassle, especially for such small amounts. Really I think you should just sell them before the end of the year and be done for a bit.

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  • I'm not sure there is any piece of this answer which is correct; it is largely conjecture, much of which seems ill-informed [such as the suggestion that taxation of capital gains on stock is based on whether you hold a paper certificate or hold it through digital brokerage]. Including advice to simply report in both countries 'because why not' seems particularly troublesome. Apr 29 at 14:25

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