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In the Summer 2015 Budget, George Osborne announced fundamental changes to the way in which dividends are taxed. The changes take place for dividends received from 6 April 2016. Some individuals who extract profits from their company as dividends may need to consider whether to increase dividend payments before this date.
When a dividend is paid to an individual, it is subject to different tax rates compared to other income due to a 10% notional tax credit being added to the dividend. So for an individual who has dividend income which falls into the basic rate band the effective tax rate is nil as the 10% tax credit covers the 10% tax liability. For a higher rate (40%) taxpayer, the effective tax rate on a dividend receipt is 25%.
Many owner-managers running their business through a limited company will pay more tax next year if most of the profits are paid out as dividends rather than as a salary. This prospect raises a number of issues which we address below.
Please contact us before you make any decisions about changing the amount of dividends taken. Please note our conclusions above are based on only limited information that has been supplied by the government on the new regime. We expect draft legislation for the regime to be published by the end of the year.