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Dividend Distribution Tax

The definition of the Dividend Distribution Tax is hidden in its name only. A dividend is a return provided by the company to its shareholders out of the profits made by the company in a particular financial year. Dividend Distribution Tax is the tax levied on the dividend that a company pays to its shareholders out of its profits.

 DDT is taxable at source and is deducted at the time of the company distributing dividends owing to the law according to which DDT is to be levied at the hands of the company, and not at the hands of the receiving shareholder. The DDT related provisions are governed by Section 115O and have been also listed down this page.

Who has to pay Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) and what is the rate?

Any domestic company which declares/distributes dividend has to pay DDT at the rate of 15% on the gross amount of dividend as stated under Section 115O. Therefore the effective rate of DDT is 17.65%* on the number of dividends. 

Dividend Distribution Tax (Sec 115 O) is 15% but in the case of dividend referred to in Section 2 (22) (e) of the Income Tax Act, it has been increased from 15% to 30%. Let us understand this with the help of an example

How to Calculate DDT?

Calculation of DDT on the dividend declared of Rs 1,00,000

Step 1: Firstly we determine the grossed-up dividend. This is calculated by determining the value of 17.65% on Rs 1,00,000 and adding to Rs 2 lakhs which will amount to Rs 2,17,650

Step 2: Calculate DDT on the Grossed up Dividend @ 15%, i.e. 15% if 2,17,650 which will amount to Rs. 32647.50

Therefore the DDT on Rs 1 lakhs will be Rs 32647.50

*This rate is exclusive of surcharge and cess. If we include the percentages of surcharge and cess also, then the effective rate of DDT would be 20.56%.

When is the Dividend Distribution Tax paid?

The DDT must be paid to the government within 14 days of the dividend declaration, distribution, or payment; whichever is earliest.

If DDT is not paid within the stipulated time period, an interest rate of 1% per month or part thereof starts getting accumulated until the amount is cleared. The tax is, however, paid separately, over and above the company’s income tax liability.

As per the income tax law, it doesn’t provide any deduction or credit to the firm for paying the DDT tax.

In the same way, a taxpayer gets no deduction with respect to any expenditure or allowance or set-off of loss under the Act in calculating the income through dividends.

Dividend Distribution Tax – Special Provisions

The dividend income in excess of Rs 10 lakh would be chargeable at the rate of 10% for individuals, Hindu Undivided Family or partnership firms, and private trusts.

When a parent company receives a dividend from its subsidiary company (given that both should be domestic companies), then when the holding company distributes a dividend, the amount of dividend liable for DDT will be equal to:

  • Dividend declared/distributed/paid during the year
  • (Less): Dividend received by the parent company during the year*

(*subject to certain conditions)

Uses of DDT

DDT on Mutual Funds

  • DDT is also applicable to mutual funds; below given are the applicable rates on equity and debt funds
  • Equity funds were exempted from DDT. Tax on equity mutual funds at the rate of 10% (11.648% inclusive of surcharge and cess).
  • For Debt funds, DDT is applicable at the rate of 25% (29.12% including surcharge and cess).
  • The dividend received by investors is exempt in the hands of the fundholder

DDT on Private Companies

As mentioned earlier, according to Section 115-O of the Income Tax Act, any domestic firm which is declaring or distributing dividends will have to pay DDT at the rate of 15% on the gross amount of dividends. Successive governments have periodically imposed and removed Dividend Distribution Tax, according to the market conditions. The dividend distribution tax rates and computation process have also changed over the years.

Considerations for DDT Tax

  • DDT is a separate tax that must be paid in addition to a company’s income tax liability. The corporation is not entitled to a deduction or credit for the DDT paid.
  • If a dividend is paid to any individual for or on behalf of the New Pension System Trust, no DDT is payable.
  • Section 115BBD provides for a 15% tax break on dividends received by an Indian company from its foreign affiliate.

Furthermore, no deduction in respect of any expenditure, allowance, or loss set-off shall be permitted to the taxpayer under the Act in computing dividend income.

Dividend Distribution Tax - FAQs

Q1. What does DDT stand for in tax?

Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) is an abbreviation for Dividend Distribution Tax.

Q2. Who is liable for the dividend distribution tax?

A dividend distribution tax must be paid by a firm that has declared, distributed, or paid any sum as a dividend.

Q3. What is the tax rate on dividend distributions for domestic corporations?

Domestic corporations must pay DDT equal to 15% of the gross dividend amount.

Q4. Is a dividend considered an expense?

No. Dividends are neither an expense nor a loss. This means that dividends declared and paid are not included in the calculation of net income on the income statement. Dividends declared by businesses are reported as changes in retained earnings minus stockholders’ equity.

Q5. When must DDT be paid?

DDT is generally paid within 14 days of the date of declaration, distribution, or payment of dividend, whichever comes first.

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