An Opinion on Dividend’s Taxation.

BY WILLIAM N. MCNAIRN

There is no factual evidence that dividends are double-taxed. To claim they are is a complete falsification indulged in by many who would know better if they examined the facts.

Dividends are taxed only once to stockholders. The income taxes the corporation pays are completely different than those paid by stockholders—they are calculated at different rates and under different rules and regulations.

To say that stockholders pay corporate income taxes is at complete odds with the facts. The corporation is well-established as an entirely separate and distinct legal entity. The stockholders do not manage corporate operations or have title to its assets. They are not management and cannot take possession of a pro rata share of corporate buildings or other assets. Stockholders do not declare dividends or run the corporation’s daily operations—they simply own a piece of paper that entitles them to a share of net assets on dissolution and to dividends if corporate management declares any.

It is true the ups and downs in a corporation’s profitability will affect all parties interested in its operations whether they are employees, lenders, taxing authorities or stockholders, but it is not true they are all double-taxed simply because the corporation pays taxes on its income. So, let us therefore hear the end of the myth of the double taxation of dividends. It just doesn’t hold up under any honest study of the facts.

William N. McNairn, CPA
Palos Verdes Estates, California

SPONSORED REPORT

2018 financial reporting survey: Challenges and trends

Learn the top reporting challenges that emerged in a survey of more than 800 finance, accounting, and compliance professionals across the world, and compare them with your organization's obstacles.

PODCAST

How the skill set for today’s CFO is changing

Scott Simmons, a search expert for large-company CFOs, gives advice for the next generation of finance leaders and more, including which universities are regularly producing future CEOs and CFOs.