Dividend tax increases

If you have been keeping up with announcements from Downing Street, you will know that from April 2022 the hybrid rates of Income Tax on dividend income are increasing by 1.25 percentage points.

The changes from April 2022 are:

  • The first £2,000 of dividends received are free of any additional tax charge, no change here.
  • If you are a basic rate tax payer, your dividend income in excess of £2,000 will be taxed at 8.75% (presently 7.5%).
  • If you are a higher rate tax payer, any dividend income that falls into the higher rate band will be taxed at 33.75% (presently 32.5%).
  • If you are an additional rate tax payer, any dividend income that falls into the additional rate band will be taxed at 39.35% (presently 38.1%).

Even with these increases, it is likely that director/shareholders adopting the high dividend, low salary strategy will still save on NIC costs.

Savers who have their funds in tax-exempt wrappers, ISAs for example, will be unaffected.

Other savers would need to have fairly significant portfolios outside tax exempt investments in order to pay any dividend tax. With average dividend yields running at approximately 3.5%, you would need to have a portfolio in excess of £57,000 to breach the £2,000 tax-free limit.

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