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Joint ownership of shares

Last updated 11 January 2005

Shares may be held in joint names. If you hold shares jointly with another person, such as your spouse, it is assumed that ownership of the shares is divided equally. Shares can also be owned in unequal proportions.

You have to be able to demonstrate this - for example, with a record of the amount contributed by each party to the cost of acquiring the shares. Dividend income and franking credits are assessable in the same proportion as the shares are owned.

Shares held in children's names

Custodians, such as parents or grandparents holding shares on behalf of minors (under a legal disability), should be treated as the owners of the shares unless the child was considered the genuine beneficial owner.

If a child is the owner of shares, any dividend income should be included in the child's tax return. Note that in some circumstances the income of a minor is subject to the highest marginal rate of tax. Any excess franking credits may also be refundable.