Australian investors can enjoy big tax savings with a unique system that prevents double taxation on dividends from shares – so make sure you’re not missing out on yours.
If you’re looking for ways to boost your retirement income, there’s a simple and smart strategy to get more out of your investments. The returns you’re receiving on your shares could be even higher, by making the most of franking credits.
How it works
Franking credits are tax credits that a company distributes to its shareholders with its dividends, representing tax the company has already paid.
When your shares return a profit, the company pays corporate tax on the dividends, which is currently 30%.1 You receive the dividend with a franking credit attached to it for the amount of tax the company has already paid – which you may be able to get back as a rebate. If the amount of tax you’re required to pay is less than the franking credit, the ATO will give you a refund on the difference.2
Make savings on tax
For example, your share in a company returns a dividend of $1000. The company pays 30% tax or $300, which means you receive the remainder of $700 plus a $300 franking credit. But if your marginal tax rate is 10%, you should only have paid $100 in tax.
You’re required to declare your dividend income each year on your tax return. So when you declare your taxable income of $1,000 in dividends, you’ll get back the difference between your franking credit ($300) and the tax you should have paid ($100) – a saving of $200. And if you’re not eligible to pay tax, you’ll get a refund of the entire amount of the franking credit.
Generate a retirement income stream
Now imagine this difference multiplied by all your investment dividends – and it can really start adding up. The trick is to work this to your advantage, and turn your franking credits into a secondary income for your retirement. Because your shares pay dividends on a regular basis, usually every six months, by growing your investments you can generate a secondary income stream to help boost your pension payments.
Want to know more?
Every financial situation is different and franking credits may not be a tax advantage for everyone. If your marginal tax rate is higher than corporate tax, you may even end up paying more on top of your franking credit come tax time. For advice and investment strategies tailored to your financial goals, speak to us today on 08 8362 0060
1. Australian Taxation Office, Dividends and imputation, 2015.
2. Australian Taxation Office, Refunding franking credits, 2015.
Any general tax information provided in this publication is intended as a guide only and is based on our general understanding of taxation laws. It is not intended to be a substitute for specialised taxation advice or an assessment of your liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under taxation law, and we recommend you consult with a registered tax agent.
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