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Stocks & Shares ISA

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Buying US shares in a Stocks and Shares ISA

From the W-8BEN form to foreign exchange charges, learn how to buy US shares in an ISA.

The US stock market is home to some of the largest household names like Apple, Google and Microsoft.

It’s no wonder that investors want to get a slice of the pie, including us here in the UK.

This guide covers how you can invest in the US market, what you need to make your investments tax-efficient, and which US stock our customers invest in the most.

Can you buy US shares in a Stocks and Shares ISA?

You can buy and trade US shares in our Stocks and Shares ISA as you would with UK shares. 

Buying US stocks in an ISA may be a good idea if you want to diversify your portfolio. You can also enjoy potential returns from the US market. 

You can contribute up to your full £20,000 annual ISA allowance into your Stocks and Shares ISA per tax year. You can spread this across many different types of investments, including those in the US. 

However, there are few things you need to do before getting started with trading US stocks from the UK. You must first complete a W-8BEN form and sign our Exchange Agreements. 

How to invest in US stocks in a UK ISA 

1. Open a Stocks and Shares ISA 

It only takes a few minutes to get started.

Find out more: Open an ISA | Add money to your ISA | Your ISA Annual Allowance

2. Sign Exchange Agreements and complete W-8BEN form 

There are two things you need to do before you can add US shares to your account.

— Sign the online Exchange Agreements. This allows us to make live international share prices available to you. You will be prompted to sign the exchange agreements when you log in to your account and search for a non-UK stock using Find & Invest or Quote.

— Complete a W-8BEN form. This can reduce the amount of tax you pay on US dividends and interest payments and is valid for three years. You can do this online by logging in and visiting our Useful Forms page. You don't need to do this if you are only investing in the ii SIPP.

3. Look up the charges to buy US shares 

Our ISA starts from £4.99 a month, this is our platform charge. US trades cost £3.99 each. Other fees such as stamp duty and foreign exchange charges may apply. Find out more.

4. Choose the US shares you want to buy 

You're ready to invest, find investment ideas on our international investing page or stay up date with international news from our expert investment analysts. 

For a more in depth guide, read How to get started with US trading

What types of US investments can be held in a UK Stocks and Shares ISA? 

You can invest in all the big household names using your Stocks and Shares ISA, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Tesla, as well as a wide range of other US companies. 

Buying US shares via funds, ETFs, or investment trusts 

Buying US shares through funds, ETFs or investment trusts is an easy and low-cost way to start building a diversified portfolio. 

Investing in a fund, ETF or trust lets you spread your money across a particular sector or industry. So you could choose to invest in US tech companies, the US energy sector, or more broadly invest in an entire US index fund such as the S&P or NASDAQ

Read about the most popular US shares with ii customers

How much does it cost to buy US shares in a UK ISA?

Dealing charges

Additional US trades usually cost £3.99.

Frequent traders can get reduced rates on international shares with our Super Investor service plan.

Foreign exchange (FX) charges

It costs just 1.5% for conversions of less than £25,000. For transactions larger than this, the costs reduce as shown:

Transaction ValueMargin Rate
£0 - £24,999.991.50%
£25,000 - £49,999.991.25%
£50,000 - £99,999.991.00%
£100,000 - £599,9990.50%
£600,000 - £999,999.99*0.25%

* Maximum electronic transaction size.

Do UK residents pay tax on US stock trading or dividends from shares held in an ISA? 

You can still earn dividends on US shares if that US company pays them to shareholders, just like you would with UK ones.  

UK residents aren’t subject to paying tax on US shares from the UK, but they do have to pay a tax on any dividends or income received from those US stocks. 

This tax is called a withholding tax (WHT) and it’s 15%. Any dividends or income received from US stocks must receive this WHT 15% tax. 

Time difference when buying US shares 

As there is a time difference between the UK and the US, the US stock market opening hours are different to the UK.  

You can trade US shares between 2:30pm and 9:00pm GMT (9:30am to 4:00pm Eastern Time)

Foreign exchange risk 

Exchange rates can create risk to international investment if a market’s currency rises against sterling. However, if a foreign market’s currency falls against sterling, this can increase returns. 

If you are unsure about the risks involved, you should get advice from a qualified financial adviser. 

Read more about foreign currency exchange.

Choosing which US shares you want to buy

Most popular US shares

See what other ii customers are investing in.

Find out more

US earnings calendar

Our US earnings calendar highlights the key dates to look out for.

News and insights

Our experts give their views on the international markets.

Learn more about our Stocks and Shares ISA

Learn how to make the most of your Stocks and Shares ISA with our useful guides.

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Investment ideas

Need inspiration? Our experts are here to help you get started.

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What is an ISA?

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Transfer an ISA

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Junior ISA

A tax-efficient way to invest in your child’s future.

The best things in life are free trades.

Open an ii ISA by 30 June and get £50 worth of free trades.​

That means we'll cover the first £50 worth of your trading fees when you invest in anything, from Amazon to Zoom.​

New customers only. Capital at risk. Other charges apply. Terms apply.

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Important information - investment value can go up or down and you could get back less than you invest. If you're in any doubt about the suitability of a Stocks & Shares ISA, you should seek independent financial advice. The tax treatment of this product depends on your individual circumstances and may change in future. If you are uncertain about the tax treatment of the product you should contact HMRC or seek independent tax advice.