DEFINITION of 'Constructive Dividend'

A concept in U.S. taxation in which various distributions to shareholders are not labeled as dividends but are still considered dividends by the IRS and taxed as such. Constructive dividends are most commonly found in companies in which the employees are also the shareholders. You can think of a constructive dividend as an undeclared dividend by the company that involves the use of corporate assets.

BREAKING DOWN 'Constructive Dividend'

For example, in many small companies, employees who are also shareholders may borrow money from the company to buy personal items. This loan may be classified by the IRS as a constructive dividend and must be reported on the tax return of the shareholder. In addition, the company would not be able to take a deduction for the constructive dividend.

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