We have all heard about dividend imputation and franking credits. However, my experience is that if you ask an investor to calculate the benefit after tax, most will struggle to do it correctly. Here is a quick and easy guide to dividend imputation that you should bookmark for future reference.
What is dividend imputation?
To avoid double taxation, the government introduced the dividend imputation system which allows shareholders to account for the tax which has already been paid by the company.
If the company has issued a fully franked dividend this means the company has already paid 30 per cent tax on its profits (the company tax rate). This can be passed to the shareholder as a tax concession and is referred to as a franking credit.
Example: 100% Fully Franked Dividend
Shares = 1000 shares
Dividend per share=33 Cents
Dividend payment = $330
Franking credit calculation:
Dividend Amount * Company Tax Rate/(100% – Company Tax Rate)
= $330 *(30/70) [30% is used as the dividend is fully franked and companies pay 30% tax]
Effect on Income Tax: Assuming Tax Rate of 32.5%
|Taxable Income ($330+$141)||$471|
|Tax Payable on Taxable Income ($471*0.325)||-$153.08|
|Tax Payable ($153.08 – $141)||-$12.08|
|Income After Tax||$317.93|
Effect on Income Tax with No Tax Credits:
|Tax Payable on Taxable Income ($330*0.325)||-$107.25|
|Income After Tax||$222.75|
As you can see from the above example, the franking credits has reduced the tax payable and maximised the income received from the dividend as the investor has only paid $12.08 in tax on this $330 dividend. In contrast, the investor with no franking credits has had to pay $107.25 in tax for the whole dividend amount.
Also, the lower your tax rate, the higher the income received. This is why franking credits tend to be more attractive to SMSF’s and those on lower tax brackets.
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