If you are an investor in Australia, it’s likely you have come across the term “franked dividends.” But what exactly are franked dividends, and why are they important to understand? This article will provide a comprehensive guide to franked dividends, including what they are, how they work, and why they can be a valuable addition to your investment portfolio.
What is a Franked Dividend?
You may be wondering, “what is a franked dividend?”A franked dividend is a type of dividend payment made by an Australian company that has already paid corporate tax on its profits. The term “franking” refers to the process of crediting the tax already paid to the shareholder who receives the dividend.
The Australian tax system allows companies to pass on the benefit of the tax they have already paid to shareholders through franked dividends. This means that shareholders receive the full value of the dividend, as well as a tax credit for the amount of corporate tax paid by the company. The tax credit can be used to offset the shareholder’s own tax liability, reducing their overall tax bill.
How Franked Dividends Work
To understand how franked dividends work, it’s important to understand the basic structure of the Australian tax system. Companies in Australia pay corporate tax on their profits at the rate of 30%. When a company declares a franked dividend, it passes on some of these profits to shareholders, along with a tax credit.
The tax credit is calculated as the amount of corporate tax paid by the company, divided by the number of shares outstanding. For example, if a company pays $100 in corporate tax and has 1 million shares outstanding, each shareholder would receive a tax credit of $0.10 per share.
Shareholders can then use the tax credit to offset their own tax liability. If the shareholder’s marginal tax rate is less than 30%, they will receive a cash refund for the difference. For example, if the shareholder’s marginal tax rate is 20%, they would receive a cash refund of $0.10 for every $0.50 of franked dividends received.
Why Franked Dividends are Important
Franked dividends can provide several benefits to investors, including:
- Increased income: Franked dividends provide shareholders with a higher level of income compared to unfranked dividends, as the tax credit increases the overall value of the dividend.
- Tax benefits: As mentioned, shareholders can use the tax credit from franked dividends to offset their own tax liability, reducing their overall tax bill.
- Lower risk: Companies that pay franked dividends are typically well established, with a proven track record of profitability. This makes them a lower-risk investment compared to companies that do not pay dividends.
- Diversification: Adding franked dividend-paying stocks to your investment portfolio can provide diversification, as these stocks tend to come from different sectors and industries compared to other types of investments.
- Long-term growth: Companies that pay franked dividends are often focused on long-term growth, which can benefit investors in the form of capital appreciation and future dividend payments.
Franked dividends are a valuable component of the Australian tax system, providing investors with increased income, tax benefits, and diversification opportunities. By understanding how franked dividends work, you can make informed decisions about your investment portfolio and take advantage of the benefits they offer. Whether you are a seasoned investor or just starting out, franked dividends can be a valuable addition to your portfolio.