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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.

Can you buy and trade US shares in an ISA?

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

Is it a good idea to buy US stocks in a UK ISA?

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

However, you must first complete a W-8BEN form and sign our Exchange Agreements. Learn more about getting started with US shares.

You will be charged withholding tax (WHT) of 15% on dividends or income earned through the US shares.

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

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

Alternatively, you can invest in US index tracker funds that follow the performance of the S&P and NASDAQ. These index trackers are great for those looking for a simple way to diversify their portfolio. But as with any investment, good returns are not guaranteed.

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.

Time difference when buying US shares

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.

Completing a W-8BEN form

You need to complete a W-8BEN form before you can buy US shares. You can do this online by logging into your account and visiting our Useful Forms page. You can also print a paper copy, scan the completed form and send it to us by secure message. Find out more.

Investing doesn't need to be taxing.

Each year, you have allowances you can use, for your ISA and pension, to maximise the tax you save. But the countdown to the final day to use them – 5 April – is now on.

Get tax savvy and find out how your allowances can help you get the most from your money. 

Get tax savvy
Tax year allowances 2024

Choosing which US shares you want to buy

Most popular

Most popular US shares

See what other ii customers are investing in.

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.

What are the most popular US investments bought by interactive investor customers

Below is a preview of the most purchased shares by ii customers over recent months.

Most purchased shares in H3 2023

Source: interactive investor. Note: the top 10 is based on the number of “buys” between 1 July and 1 September 2023.

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

Yes, UK residents are charged withholding tax (WHT) of 15% on dividends or income received from US stocks.

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