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J, K, L Dividends and franking credits

Last updated 12 February 2019

This section covers:

Was the SMSF paid dividends?


Leave J, K and L blank. Go to M.


Read on.

Dividends and non-share dividends from Australian entities may carry franking credits. We call such dividends franked dividends. Franking credits reflect tax the company has paid.

Dividends and non-share dividends with no franking credits are called unfranked dividends.

An SMSF's assessable income includes:

  • unfranked dividends (include these at J Unfranked dividend amount)
  • franked dividends (include these at K Franked dividend amount)
  • franking credits (include these at L Dividend franking credit if the SMSF is entitled to a corresponding tax offset).

Include non-share dividends at J, K and L in the same way as dividends. For more information about non-share dividends see Debt and equity tests: guide to the debt and equity tests.

If the SMSF was paid a dividend from a private company, you must establish whether the dividend is non-arm's-length income. If the SMSF is a complying SMSF and it is non-arm's-length income, include the dividend and franking credit at U1 Net non-arm's length private company dividends instead of at J, K or L.

Start of example

Example: Dividends and franking credits

In 2014–15, SMSF JKL owned shares in an Australian publicly listed company. The dividend statement shows that the SMSF received $21,000 dividends and $9,000 Australian franking credits. SMSF JKL is a complying SMSF.

SMSF JKL reports:

J Unfranked dividend amount $ 0

K Franked dividend amount $21,000

L Dividend franking credit $9,000

E1 Complying fund’s franking credits tax offset in Section D $9,000

End of example

J Unfranked dividend amount

Was the SMSF paid unfranked dividends, including unfranked non-share dividends?


Leave J blank. Go to K.


Read on.

Write at J the total amount of unfranked dividends, and unfranked non-share dividends, that were paid to the SMSF. The amount at J should not be reduced by any loss or outgoing related to the income.

If you include an amount at J that is exempt current pension income, also include it at Y Exempt current pension income.

  • Do not include unfranked dividends that are a share of net income from a trust (include these at M Gross trust distributions)
  • that are part of a distribution from a        
    • partnership (include these at I Gross distribution from partnerships)
    • pooled development fund (do not include the distribution anywhere in the SMSF's assessable income as it is exempt income but take it into account when calculating M1 Tax losses deducted in Section C)
  • from a New Zealand franking company (include these at D1 Gross foreign income)
  • on which family trust distribution tax has been paid
  • that are non-arm's-length income of a complying SMSF (include these at U1 Net non-arm's length private company dividends).