Can I invest if I don’t live in the U.S?
Yes, you can.
But to be clear, when we say that a non-U.S. investor is allowed to invest, we mean only that she is allowed to invest under the laws of the United States. We do not make any representation that she is allowed to invest under the laws of her country of residence, or even that the offering is legal under the laws of that country.
When you invest as a non-U.S. investor, you will be asked to represent that the offering and your investment are permitted under the laws of your country of residence. Be sure to consult your tax advisor on the legality of investing under the laws of your country, and the legality of investing in any particular offering on our site.
If I don’t live in the U.S., is there anything additional required for me to make an investment?
However, unless your country has a tax treaty with the United States that stipulates a lower withholding rate, the issuer is required to withhold 30% of any return you earn per the United States tax code. If you plan to claim a refund of any of the tax withheld, or claim the benefits of reduced tax withholding rates per any income tax treaty for which you are eligible, you will need to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (or ITIN) prior to the end of the year, as this is required when filing such a claim. If you already have an ITIN you will be able to provide that number during the investment process. If not, you will need provide it to the issuer later.
What is an ITIN?
An ITIN is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is required to process tax documents in the United States. It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a 7 or 8 in the fourth digit, example 9XX-7X-XXXX. You can download the application from the www.irs.gov website.
How can I obtain an ITIN?
I don’t live in the U.S., where can I have my W-7 form certified?
W-7 forms and accompanying documents must be certified by a Notary Public. This service may be available at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate, as U.S. Consular Officers abroad can sometimes function in the place of U.S. notaries public.
If I invest as an individual, how much of the income generated through my investment is withheld?
Unless your country has a tax treaty with the United States that stipulates a lower withholding rate, the issuer is required to withhold 30% of any return you earn per the United States tax code. See this link to determine whether your country has a tax treaty with the US. These can be complicated documents, so always consult your tax advisor to assess whether the treaty has any impact on your withholding.