Franked Dividend

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DEFINITION of 'Franked Dividend'

An arrangement in Australia that eliminates the double taxation of dividends. Dividends are dispersed with tax imputations attached to them. The shareholder is able to reduce the tax paid on the dividend by an amount equal to the tax imputation credits. Basically, taxation of dividends has been partially paid by the company issuing the dividend.

BREAKING DOWN 'Franked Dividend'

This concept is best illustrated by an example. Suppose you receive a franked dividend of $100. Assume the before-tax value of this dividend is $125 (this will depend on the company's rate of taxation). In other words, the company has to generate $125 of pre-tax profit to be able to disperse the dividend.

If your marginal tax rate is 30%, you will owe $12.50 in taxes on the franked dividend (($100) -($125 * (1-.3))= $12.5). If the dividend is unfranked, you will owe $30 on the $100 dividend ($100 * (1-.7)= $30. Essentially, the company pays a portion of the tax that you would owe if the dividend was unfranked. In Australia, these taxes are paid to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

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