New rules for Dividends from April 2016

In the Summer Budget it was announced that new rules for the taxation of dividends that will apply from 6 April 2016. Further guidance has now been published by HMRC setting out how the new rules will operate and it seems the rules don’t work as many people expected.  As previously reported, there will be no 10% credit against the tax on dividends which means there will be a 7½ % increase in the rate of tax on dividends once the £5,000 dividend allowance has been used up. Currently dividends falling into the basic rate band are effectively tax free.

However the £5,000 allowance needs to be taken into consideration in determining the rate of tax on your dividends. For example if you have salary and other non- dividend income of £40,000 next year and £9,000 in dividends, the £4,000 of taxable dividends are taxed at 32.5%, not £3,000 at 7.5% then £1,000 at 32.5%. This is because the £5,000 is added to the £40,000 income pushing the taxable dividends into the higher rate band.

If you own your own company it may be beneficial to bring forward dividend payments from next year to save the additional 7½ %. However, it would be important to consider all of the tax implications of such actions so come and talk to us to discuss your options.

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