Dividend Tax Credit

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DEFINITION of 'Dividend Tax Credit'

The amount a Canadian resident applies against their tax owing on the grossed up portion of dividends received from Canadian corporations.

BREAKING DOWN 'Dividend Tax Credit'

The dividends an individual receives from Canadian corporations are "grossed up" by 25%. This amount is then included on their income tax form as taxable income. Both Canadian federal and provincial governments then grants individuals a tax credit, equal to a percentage of the grossed up amount. This helps to reduce the actual tax payable.

Let's run through an example. Susan Smith has a marginal income tax rate of 25% and is located in Alberta, where the provincial dividend tax credit is 6.4%. The federal dividend tax credit is 13.33%. Her total dividends for the year were $250. On the taxable income portion of her tax return she will include $312.50 (250*1.25). Her approximate taxes owing on this dividend would then be $78.13 (312.50*25%). She also receives dividend tax credits of $41.67 (312.50*13.33%) and $20 (312.50*6.4%). Therefore, in all her taxes payable on her dividend is $16.46 (78.13-41.67-20). This amounts to only 6.58% of her original dividend.

Dividend tax credits are implemented in an attempt to offset double taxing, since dividends are paid to shareholders with a corporation's after-tax profit and the dividends received by shareholders are also taxed.

There are both federal and provincial tax credits.