I am a South African citizen living in South Africa who works for a large US company. As part of my compensation, I receive restricted stock units (RSUs) which my country considers to be part of my salary when they vest, at which time I pay local (non-US) taxes on them. When I sell them, I am also liable for local capital gains tax if they have increased in value.
I'm about to take a business trip to the US for about two weeks where I would like to purchase a laptop that is only available there. I would like to sell some of these shares. If I have the proceeds paid to my local bank account then I would lose on the currency conversion commission and transaction fees twice, once when having the sale proceeds paid locally and the second time when buying the laptop in US dollars.
I was hoping to open a simple savings account or similar in the US and have my share proceeds paid into it, avoiding one of these fees. Then I can pay for the laptop from that account and also have some spending money while abroad. I would also be able to use this setup for future trips. I will pay local capital gains tax on the share sale since it will be reported to my local tax authority.
Will this leave me liable for taxation in the US because I've earned money, even though I'm not tax resident?