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Can my Company pay a Franked Dividend?

11Payinga Franked Dividend

Franked Dividends are recognising tax paid by the Company and transferring the tax as a credit when the Company pays Profit to shareholders.

Running your own Company will mean that as a shareholder you will want to access these profits. This is done as a Dividend. In simple terms your company is a money box and the only way to get it out as a shareholder is to pay profits as a Dividend. This will either be paid to you as a Franked or unfranked Dividend.

Profits to shareholders can be paid from the Company retained profits as a dividend.

A company pays distributions to its members. Shareholder members may be individuals or other entities such as your family trust. The amount of a dividend allocated will depend upon a number of shares you hold and the percentage of ownership.

What is a Franked Dividend and a Franking Credit?

Your Company, after paying a paid tax payment, either in the form of a company tax instalment or year-end company tax, will record these amounts as franking credits in the Company Franking Account.

Presently the Company Tax rate is set at 26%

When the Company issues a dividend, it will issue a distribution or dividend statement to each shareholder member.

The dividend statement is then given to each shareholder who receives a distribution outlining their entitlement.

Dividends paid by your company can be either Franked Dividend or an un-franked Dividend. The franking amount will depend upon the availability of tax paid by the company in the company’s franking account. When no company tax has been paid by the company a franked dividend may not be paid. Therefore, the Company may choose to issue a dividend, as un-franked.

The Dividend statement will show the amount of franking credit attached to the distribution. The statement will also show the extent to which it’s franked. Only resident taxpayers of Australia can claim a tax offset for a franking credit attached to a dividend.

Non-resident taxpayers, receiving a franked distribution are exempt from withholding tax in Australia. This is to the extent that it’s franked. Therefore, if it is 100% franked there is no final tax to pay or declare as a non-resident.

We recommend reviewing your Company’s Retained Profits regularly. Leaving large profits in retained earnings can lead to tax problems down the track when you decide you need to access these profits. Regular Dividends can eliminate the problem of tax implications being paid out in large Dividends.

Grossing up your Dividend in your tax return.

An individual shareholder in your Company will pay you a dividend. The franked dividend from the Company must include the amount together with any franking credit as declared taxable income. This is known as Grossing up your Dividend.

Receiving a franked divided also entitles you to a tax offset equal to the” franking credit amount. For tax purposes, this effectively means any tax up to 26% on the income will result in a neutral result.

A tax offset can result in a refund or excess tax payable. The tax may result in the need to pay additional tax liability on the distribution. When this happens, it is known as ‘top-up’ tax.

Taxpayers with lower taxable incomes can receive a refund of all or almost all the franking credits. This will be dependent on their income position.

As your accountant, we try and work with you to obtain the best result for your tax position. Managing how you declare your declared Frank Dividends using the right tax opportune time. The aim is to help smooth out your tax position and reduce your retained earnings in the Company.

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