When can you take a dividend from your business?

If you are an owner of a limited company, taking money out of your business using dividends is a mainstay of effective tax planning, thanks to an additional £2,000 annual allowance and lower rates than apply when taking money in the form of salary.

However, there are restrictions on the circumstances in which a limited company can pay a dividend.

Crucially, the company must have sufficient profits from the current and previous financial years to cover the dividend payment.

The company will also need to pay a dividend to all eligible shareholders, so you will need to factor this into any calculations.

Dividends must be declared by the directors and minutes of the meeting must be kept, even if there is only one director.

A dividend voucher will need to be prepared, including the date, the company name, the names of the shareholders receiving the dividend and the amount.

Copies must be given to the shareholders receiving the dividend and retained on the company’s records.

Be aware, that the current £2,000 Dividend Tax Allowances will be reduced to £1,000 from April 2023, and then cut further to £500 from April 2024.

It is important to consider the impact that this could have on your tax planning.

Link: Running a limited company: Your responsibilities