What is an imputation/franking credit?
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When you own shares or non-share equity interests in a company, or invest in a managed fund you may get dividend distributions.
Dividends paid to shareholders by Australian companies are taxed under a system known as imputation. It is called an imputation system because the tax paid by the company is allocated (or imputed) to shareholders by way of imputation/franking credits attached to the dividends they receive.
Note: Imputation credits are also known as franking credits.
When is an imputation credit refunded to me?
If the imputation/franking credits you receive exceed the tax you have to pay you claim this difference back as a tax refund. This is what is known as the refund of excess imputation/franking credits. You may be entitled to a refund of the full amount of imputation/franking credits received, even if you don't normally lodge a tax return.
The 2003 application for refund of imputation/franking credits for individuals (PDF, 60KB) is available for download.
Last modified: 22 Jun 2004QC 16834