By the way, I'm still waiting on some contacts to come through and introduce me to people who can help me follow the dollar.
What I want to understand is unfortunately too complicated for mere mortals.
1) Companies A, B, C, D which are all not US listed are held by an ETF listed in the US. How does the cash flow from the dividends paid by those companies into my account, at say HSBC. Assuming that I've filed the right paper work with HSBC.
2) US Fed "instruments" A, B, C and D are held by a US owned ETF. What is the cash flow like?
A lot of intermediaries seem to be involved and I'm unable to figure out why I get different results for different ETFs from a single provider like iShares.
For example SHY every month declares that 100% of the dividend is tax free, yet I see 30% missing from my credit in HSBC. At the same time MUB is credited without any tax taken out. And then there are issues with ETFs like LQD which should be 72% tax free, still ends up with a 30% deduction at HSBC. Where is the leakage?
Some folks tell me "it gets paid back" - but I cannot identify a process by which it gets paid back to me. Why would one ETF follow a different set of rules from another.
Am waiting on a friend who works at Vanguard to help me find someone who might have a better view from their perspective on how the cash flows in and out of their fund's distributions before it reaches me and then beyond - when they presumably claim back from the IRS after identifying that I am an overseas, non-treaty investor ... or whatever.