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  • Owning shares

    When you own shares, there are tax implications from:

    • receiving dividends
    • participating in a dividend reinvestment plan
    • participating in a bonus share scheme
    • receiving a call payment on a bonus share scheme
    • receiving non-assessable payments
    • transactions the company you have invested in undertakes, such as mergers, takeovers and demergers.

    If you own shares, you should be aware of the following:

    • You need to declare all your dividend income on your tax return, even if you use your dividend to purchase more shares – for example, through a dividend reinvestment plan.
    • The costs you may be able to claim as tax deductions include management fees, specialist journals and interest on money you borrowed to buy the shares.
    • If you receive a retail premium for rights or entitlements that you didn't take up, you need to declare these premiums as income on your tax return for the year.

    Dividends from shares

    You need to declare all your dividend income on your tax return, even if you use your dividend to purchase more shares – for example, through a dividend reinvestment plan.

    A dividend is assessable income in the year it was paid or credited to you. Your dividend statement shows the relevant date – often referred to as the payment date or date paid.

    Reinvesting dividends

    Most dividends you are paid or credited will be in the form of money, either by cheque or directly deposited into a bank account. However, the company may give you the option of reinvesting your dividends in the form of new shares in the company – this is called a dividend reinvestment scheme. If you take this option, you must pay tax on your reinvested dividends. The amount of the dividend received will form part of the cost base of the shares you receive.

    Keep a record of your reinvested dividends to help you work out any capital gains or capital losses you make when you dispose of the shares.

    See also:

    Last modified: 01 Jul 2021QC 22812