US-based messaging service, WhatsApp, has around 1.5 billion users and is often used as an alternative to regular texting and group chats. The app has become a must-have to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world.
WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, so if you want to invest you’ll need to buy shares in its parent company. Investors in Canada can buy Facebook stock by opening an account with a Canadian brokerage that offers access to US stocks.
WhatsApp is not a publicly traded company, so you can’t buy WhatsApp stock directly. But you can buy stock in Facebook, the company that owns WhatsApp. Facebook is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (Nasdaq GS) under the ticker symbol “FB.”
Facebook has a market cap is $887.163 billion, and it employs nearly 60,000 people. In 2012, Facebook, Inc. went public on the NASDAQ with a share price of $38. The stock saw an all-time high of $313.09 in April, 2021.
To buy Facebook stock, you’ll need a brokerage account. Here’s how it works:
Facebook’s stock price dropped during 2020, which may attract investors who think the company has a bright long-term future. While Facebook’s revenue may decrease as a result of the pandemic, it remains the most popular social media platform in the world, with over 2.4 billion users.
Agreements between Canada and the US require Canadians holding US stock investments to pay the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a 15% withholding tax on any dividends earned on their US stocks. Interest earned from bonds or other interest-yielding US investments are similarly taxed at a rate of 10%.
An exception is made for stock investments held in trust exclusively designed to provide retirement income. Such trusts include RRIFs, LIRAs, LIFs, LRIFs and Prescribed RRIFs. RRSPs are also exempt from US withholding tax if you own US investments in the form of US stocks, bonds or ETFs.
All income from investments, including foreign investments, must be declared as part of your income on your Canadian tax return. Unless your US earnings are exempt from withholding tax, this means you’ll be double taxed on those earnings — first by the IRS, then by the CRA. However, the CRA may allow you to claim foreign tax credits for any taxes you’ve already paid to the IRS.
Speak with a tax professional to find out what rules and exceptions apply to your circumstances.
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