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The Dividend Tax Rate in Canada: What You Need to Know in 2024

dividend tax rate in canada

Dividend stocks in Canada come with a tax advantage that benefits the average Canadian investor. When a company pays out dividends, the tax burden is shared with the shareholder. This means that investors can enjoy the benefits of the company’s financial performance and potential future dividend returns while paying less tax on the dividend income.

However, the process is not as straightforward as it seems. Canadian companies often qualify for a dividend tax credit rather than a dividend tax rate when they pay out dividends. This means that the company receives a tax credit from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for paying dividends. As such, self-directed investors need to understand how the CRA views their dividend income and whether it is good for them.

What is a Dividend Tax Credit?

A dividend tax credit is a credit that is applied to the tax liability on the gross-up component of the dividends paid by a Canadian company. The purpose of the dividend gross-up and related dividend tax credit is to prevent double taxation on dividends. Dividends are paid by a corporation from after-tax profits, and taxing dividends at the full rate would be unjust.

Eligible Federal Dividend Tax Credits

Dividends that are eligible and non-eligible are both grossed-up, but at different rates. The Canadian Income Tax Act requires Canadian companies to inform shareholders if their payout is eligible before paying a dividend. Eligible dividends are received from either a public or private corporation who has not received the small business deduction, and who has high earnings of a net income over 500,000 CAD.

For the tax year 2021, the gross-up percentage for eligible dividends is 38%, while the non-eligible percentage is 15%.

To better understand how taxation works, consider the following scenario:

  • Jane Bell received $1,000 in dividend payments for her stocks in 2021. 
  • Eligible dividends made up $800 of that amount while non-eligible dividends comprised $200 of the total. 
  • Because Ms. Bell makes more money and is in a higher tax bracket, her nominal tax rate is 30%.

To calculate the taxable income, it is necessary to gross up each amount at the applicable tax rate.

For eligible dividends, the gross-up amount is $800 x 1.38 = $1,104. The taxable income for eligible dividends is $1,104 x 30% = $331.20.

For non-eligible dividends, the gross-up amount is $200 x 1.15 = $230. The taxable income for non-eligible dividends is $230 x 30% = $69.

The federal dividend tax credit for eligible dividends is 15.0198% of the taxable eligible dividends amount, which is $1,104 x 15.0198% = $165.89. The federal dividend tax credit for non-eligible dividends is 9.0301% of the taxable other than eligible dividends amount, which is $230 x 9.0301% = $20.78.

In conclusion, a dividend tax credit is a credit that is applied to the tax liability on the gross-up component of dividends paid by a Canadian company. The tax credit is used to avoid double taxation on dividends. Eligible dividends and non-eligible dividends are both grossed-up, but at different rates. The federal dividend tax credit for eligible dividends is 15.0198% of the taxable eligible dividends amount, while the federal dividend tax credit for non-eligible dividends is 9.0301% of the taxable other than eligible dividends amount.

Federal Dividend Tax Rate Calculation

When calculating federal dividend tax rates in Canada, it is important to understand the difference between eligible and non-eligible dividends. Eligible dividends are taxed at a higher rate than non-eligible dividends, but also come with a higher tax credit.

To calculate the federal dividend tax rate, first, the grossed-up amount must be determined. This is done by multiplying the eligible dividends by 1.38 and the non-eligible dividends by 1.15. For example, if a taxpayer earned $800 in eligible dividends and $200 in non-eligible dividends, the grossed-up amount would be $1,104 and $230, respectively.

Next, the nominal tax rate must be applied to the grossed-up amount. For example, if the nominal tax rate is 30%, the tax owed on the $1,334 grossed-up amount would be $400.20.

However, the federal dividend tax credit must be applied to the grossed-up tax amount, not the total taxable income. The rate for eligible dividends is approximately 15.02%, while the rate for non-eligible dividends is approximately 9.031%.

Using the example above, the calculated tax credit would be $96.25. This would be subtracted from the tax owed of $400.20, resulting in a tax payment of $303.94 on dividend earnings of $1,000.

It is important to note that the tax credit should not be applied to the total taxable income, but rather to the tax owed on the taxable dividends. This common mistake can result in overpaying taxes on dividend earnings.

Additionally, it is important to consider the provincial dividend tax treatment, as each province has its own tax credit system. Taxpayers should consult the CRA website or use tax software to ensure they are claiming all eligible tax credits.

In summary, when calculating federal dividend tax rates in Canada, taxpayers should determine the grossed-up amount, apply the nominal tax rate, and then apply the appropriate tax credit to the grossed-up tax amount. By doing so, taxpayers can ensure they are not overpaying taxes on their dividend earnings.

Applying a Dividend Tax Credit to Foreign Dividends

Canadian investors who hold foreign stocks cannot apply the Canadian dividend credit to those stocks. Foreign dividends are subject to withholding tax, which varies depending on the country. It is important to speak to an accountant before investing in foreign stocks to ensure that you understand the tax implications and any potential risks involved. Qtrade Direct Investing is currently offering up to $150 cashback for new customers who sign up before October 31, 2023.

Taxable Dividends vs Interest Income

When it comes to taxation, income from interest is less advantageous than income from capital gains or stock dividends. Interest-paying investments, such as certificates of deposit (CDs), high-interest savings accounts, bonds, and rental properties, have fully taxable interest income. If an individual receives $1,000 in interest income, they are taxed on the entire amount. For example, at a 30% tax rate, they would have to pay $300 in taxes. On the other hand, dividends from stocks are taxed at a lower rate, making them a more tax-efficient investment option.

Dividends Received from Real Estate Investment Trusts

Investing in a real estate investment trust (REIT) can be a smart move for those looking to diversify their portfolio. However, it is important to note that payments from a REIT are not considered dividends, but rather distributions. A distribution can include dividends, capital gains, a return of capital, interest, or other income.

Holding a REIT in a registered account can make it easier to deal with taxation, as these forms of payments can be taxed at varying rates. While it may seem unfair to pay tax on unearned income, it is important to note that taxes are a necessary part of investing. However, a dividend tax credit can offer some relief.

Overall, investing in a REIT can be a great way to earn income, but it is important to understand the tax implications and consider holding the investment in a registered account to simplify the tax process.

Key Points
– REIT payments are not considered dividends, but rather distributions.
– Distributions can include dividends, capital gains, a return of capital, interest, or other income.
– Holding a REIT in a registered account can simplify the tax process.
– A dividend tax credit can offer some relief from taxes on unearned income.

Dividend Stock Yields vs Capital Gains

Sophisticated investors often consider dividend yields when investing in stocks. Dividend yield is calculated by dividing the total annual dividends per share by the current stock price. Some companies have a history of paying consistent dividends over the years. However, stock dividends are not the same as capital gains from selling a stock.

In Canada, capital gains from stocks also provide tax advantages to investors. When an investor makes a capital gain, they are taxed on only 50% of the gain at their regular tax rate. For example, if an investor is taxed at 30% and they make a $1000 capital gain, they pay 30% tax on $500, which amounts to $150 in taxes. However, the investor no longer holds the asset.

Capital gains in Canada receive better tax treatment than dividends and interest. The capital gains tax is paid on the profit made from an asset, whether it is a security like a bond or stock, or a fixed asset like equipment, buildings, land, or any other possession. The capital gains inclusion rate is used to calculate the portion of profit made, if any. With a dividend yield, investors get to keep the asset and make future income.

Here is a comparison between dividend yields and capital gains:

Dividend Stock YieldsCapital Gains
Provides consistent incomeProvides a one-time profit
Taxed at a higher rate than capital gainsTaxed at a lower rate than dividends and interest
Investors keep the asset and make future incomeInvestors no longer hold the asset
Depends on the company’s dividend policyDepends on market conditions and timing of sale

Investors should consider their investment goals and risk tolerance when deciding between dividend stock yields and capital gains. It is important to note that past performance is not indicative of future results and that investing involves risks.

Defining a Dividend

A dividend is a payment made by a company to its shareholders as a way to share its profits. The payment is distributed based on the number of shares a shareholder owns. Dividends are paid out monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. This allows investors to receive a return on their investment. Companies typically pay dividends when they have excess cash that they are not using for reinvestment. The cash is then divided among shareholders.

Declaring a Dividend

When a company declares its dividend per share, it does so through a press release that contains the Declaration Date, Record Date, Payment Date, and Ex-Dividend Date. The Declaration Date is the day the dividend is announced, while the Record Date is the date when the company reviews its list of shareholders to determine who is eligible to receive the upcoming dividend payment. The Payment Date is the day shareholders receive their dividend payment, and the Ex-Dividend Date is the day shares no longer trade with a dividend. Shareholders who trade on or after this date are not entitled to the upcoming dividend payment.

Dividends on shares are usually paid quarterly, but they can also be paid at other times, such as for special dividends. The amount of dividends received depends on the total number of shares owned in a company. For example, if a shareholder owns 100 shares and receives 50 cents per share, they would receive $12.50 each quarter or $50.00 for the year.

Shareholders who receive dividends are listed as Shareholders of Record with the company where they own stock. When a dividend is paid, it is an indication of the company’s financial health and the share price. A higher value dividend yield may indicate that the company is financially healthy or profitable. However, it may also suggest that the company is using its extra cash to pay its investors instead of reinvesting the money.

Overall, declaring a dividend is an important process that companies use to communicate their financial health and profitability to shareholders. It is an indication of the company’s commitment to its investors and its ability to generate profits.

Dividend Payouts

A company’s dividend payout is the portion of its earnings that it distributes to its shareholders. When a company regularly pays out dividends, it is often seen as a sign of financial stability and reliability. However, if a company suddenly reduces its per dividend payout, it may signal a deterioration in its financial health or reveal a plan for reinvestment and growth.

Before investing in a dividend stock, it is important to carefully consider the investment. Investors should ask questions such as what the company does, its projections for future growth, and whether it has a balance sheet that looks good. The stock’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is also important to consider, as it allows investors to figure out a stock’s market value compared to a company’s earnings.

Stock Valuations: Understanding Their Importance

When investing in stocks, it is essential to understand stock valuations to make informed decisions. A reduction or elimination of dividends could indicate that the company is using the money for expansion and growth. Therefore, it is crucial to stay current on a company’s operations and future plans when investing in dividends. By doing so, investors can gain a financial edge and make better investment decisions. It is recommended to research and analyze a company’s financial statements, earnings reports, and industry trends to determine stock valuations.

Reasons for Dividend Investing

Investors may consider dividend stocks for two main reasons. Firstly, dividend stocks offer a continuous income stream that can be reinvested in future shares, known as Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs). This income can be used for saving for emergencies and retirement. Secondly, Canadian investors receive tax credits on the dividend income they make from dividend-paying stocks. This preferential treatment makes dividend investing an attractive option for those looking to minimize their tax burden.

Learning more about DRIPs

DRIPs, or dividend reinvestment plans, are a popular option for investors who are looking to invest in dividend stocks. With a DRIP, investors can take the dividends they earn from stocks and use them to buy additional shares in the company, without having to pay a commission. This can be a great way to save money, especially for investors who are looking to avoid high fees.

Investing in dividend stocks can also be a good way to minimize risk, as companies that pay dividends tend to have strong cash balances. This makes them a more attractive option for investors who are looking for stable, low-risk investments.

What to Consider When Choosing Dividend Stocks

When investing in dividend stocks, it is crucial to consider several factors to make an informed decision. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Company Reputation: It is important to invest in companies that have a solid reputation or a good track record of paying dividends. However, past performance does not guarantee future results, so it’s important to conduct thorough research before investing.
  • Yield: The yield, or annual dividend per annual share price, is a crucial factor to consider. It provides insight into what you may receive in dividends for every dollar you invest. However, don’t focus solely on yield, as it can be affected by fluctuations in a stock’s price.
  • Stock Performance: Fluctuations in a stock’s price can affect its performance and dividend yield. A stock’s value generally increases when its demand rises, leading to an increase in the dividend value. However, if a stock’s price rises, the dividend yield may fall, as it is calculated by dividing the annual dividends paid per share by the stock’s share price.
  • Market Conditions: Market conditions can also impact a company’s ability to pay dividends. Economic downturns or changes in industry trends can affect a company’s financial stability and its ability to pay dividends.

In summary, when choosing dividend stocks, it is important to consider a company’s reputation, yield, stock performance, and market conditions to make an informed investment decision.

The Payout Ratio

The payout ratio measures the portion of a company’s earnings that is paid out as dividends. If the ratio is high, from 55% to 75%, more than half of the company’s earnings are directed towards dividends. Conversely, a modest payout ratio of 10% to 30% may indicate that a company is channeling its earnings towards growth.

The payout ratio is a component of the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, which is an increasing function of the payout ratio and a company’s growth rate or a decreasing function of a company’s payout risk. If the payout ratio increases for a given growth rate, the P/E ratio also increases. For example, if a stock with a P/E of 15 has a dividend yield of 5%, its earnings yield is calculated at 6.67%, making the payout ratio approximately 75%.

Investors use the payout ratio to assess a company’s dividend sustainability and growth potential. A high payout ratio may indicate that a company is committed to distributing profits to shareholders, but it may also limit its ability to reinvest earnings for future growth. Conversely, a lower payout ratio may signal that a company is prioritizing growth over dividends.

Past Trends

When researching dividend stocks, it is important to review a company’s prior dividend payouts to determine if there have been gains or declines in dividend per share. Investors can also review how much of the dividend share price has fluctuated by examining a company’s annual report. By doing so, investors can gain insight into a company’s plan for growth and what it means for them. However, it is important to note that dividends are not set in stone and unexpected shifts in the economy can cause companies to slash dividends to save money.

The Dividend Yield

The dividend yield is a crucial metric for investors to consider when evaluating a stock. It represents the percentage of the return that a business pays out annually in dividends relative to the price per share. The dividend yield formula is expressed as dividend yield = annual dividend divided by stock price x 100.

For example, if a company pays an annual dividend of $1.44 and the stock price is $53.00, the dividend yield would be calculated as follows: dividend yield = $1.44 divided by $53 x 100 = 2.7%.

It is important to note that not all companies that sell shares pay out dividends. Therefore, if you see the dividend yield on a stock quote, it is positive. However, the dividend yield is not guaranteed, as it can go up or down depending on fluctuations in the market. Companies may or may not choose to pay out the money.

Dividends make up one element of a stock’s total return, with the other element being the change in a share’s price over time. For instance, if a stock price increases 4% in a year and it pays a 2% dividend yield, the total return is 6% provided the stock is held for the year. Alternatively, if a dividend-paying stock is held and the price declines 3% but receives 1% in dividends, the total decline only goes down 2% for the total return.

Investors planning to invest for the long term should keep both parts of a stock’s total return in mind. The basic formula is Return = Dividend yield + Price change.

Tax-Free Savings Accounts and Registered Retirement Savings Plans

Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) and Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) are two popular investment vehicles in Canada. While both offer tax advantages, they differ in terms of how they are taxed.

Contributions to an RRSP are tax-deductible, which means that they reduce the amount of income tax payable. However, withdrawals from an RRSP are taxed at the yearly marginal tax rate. On the other hand, contributions to a TFSA are not tax-deductible, but withdrawals are tax-free.

Dividend paying stocks offer many benefits, especially for long-term investors. However, the dividend tax credit does not apply to stocks owned within a TFSA or RRSP. Therefore, investors should consider holding dividend-paying stocks outside of these accounts to take advantage of the credit.

Overall, TFSAs and RRSPs can both be valuable tools for saving and investing, depending on an individual’s financial goals and circumstances. It is important to carefully consider the tax implications of each account and to seek professional advice if necessary.

FAQ

Dividends are a popular way for companies to share their profits with shareholders. However, many investors have questions about the tax implications of receiving dividend income. Here are some frequently asked questions about dividend taxes in Canada:

What is the dividend tax rate in Canada?

The tax rate applied to dividend income is not what the individual taxpayer pays. The federal government adds a gross-up to eligible and non-eligible dividends to mimic what the payout would have been if companies had not already paid tax on the income. The government then applies a dividend tax credit to the amount of tax a person would have to pay. The federal government has a fixed dividend tax credit of 15.0198% for eligible dividends and the rate for non-eligible dividends is 9.031%. Each province has its own credits for dividends to make the tax savings better.

What are dividends?

A dividend is a payment a company makes to share its profits with shareholders. Dividends are paid out according to the number of shares a shareholder owns. A dividend is usually paid when a business has additional cash that it is not reinvesting into the company. The additional cash is divided among the shareholders for payment.

How do dividend taxes work in Canada?

A dividend tax credit represents an amount that is applied toward the tax liability on the gross-up component of the dividends a Canadian company pays. You cannot apply this credit for investing in U.S. or overseas stocks. The tax credit can only be used for Canadian stock accounts. The dividend gross-up and related dividend tax credit account for the percentage of tax that a firm pays on income before paying a dividend. Dividends are taxed at a lower rate than some other income.

What is the income tax rate on dividends in Canada?

The income tax rate depends on the individual’s calculated nominal tax rate.

Are dividends and stocks taxed the same in Canada?

Dividends and stocks are not taxed the same way. Only 50% of the capital gains of stocks are taxable at the individual’s nominal tax rate. When a shareholder receives a dividend, they have to declare the dividend on their income tax return. The Canada Revenue Agency applies a 15.0198% tax on the tax portion of eligible dividends and a 9.031% rate on the tax portion of non-eligible dividends. If an individual has a 25% nominal tax rate, a $1134 dividend has a potential tax of $283.50. The Canada Revenue Agency applies a 15.0198% break on the tax portion of eligible dividends and a 9.031% break on the tax portion of non-eligible dividends. When you subtract the tax break from the potential tax, you get the actual tax owed on dividends.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Dividend Tax Rate for Canadian Residents?

The dividend tax rate in Canada varies based on the type of dividends received. Eligible dividends are taxed at a lower rate than non-eligible dividends. As of 2023, the federal tax rate for eligible dividends is 38%, while the rate for non-eligible dividends ranges from 6.87% to 27.57%. Provincial tax rates also apply, and they vary by province.

How Do I Calculate the Dividend Tax Credit in Canada?

To calculate the dividend tax credit in Canada, you need to know the type of dividends you received and your taxable income. For eligible dividends, you can calculate the federal dividend tax credit as 15.0198% of your taxable eligible dividends. For non-eligible dividends, the federal dividend tax credit is 9.0301% of your taxable other than eligible dividends.

What is the Withholding Tax Rate for Non-Residents on Canadian Dividends?

The withholding tax rate for non-residents on Canadian dividends is 25%. However, this rate may be reduced under a tax treaty between Canada and the non-resident’s country of residence.

What are Eligible Dividends in Canada?

Eligible dividends in Canada are dividends paid by Canadian corporations that are taxed at a lower rate than non-eligible dividends. To be considered eligible, the dividends must meet certain criteria set by the Canada Revenue Agency.

How Much Tax Do I Have to Pay on Dividend Income in Ontario?

The amount of tax you have to pay on dividend income in Ontario depends on your taxable income and the type of dividends received. As of 2023, the top marginal tax rate in Ontario is 47.74% for those who earn more than $220,000 per year. However, the gross-up and dividend tax credit system may reduce the amount of tax owed on dividend income.

How are Dividends Taxed in Quebec?

Dividends are taxed in Quebec using the same system as the rest of Canada. The tax rate for eligible dividends is 38%, while the rate for non-eligible dividends ranges from 6.87% to 27.57%. Provincial tax rates also apply, and they vary by province.

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