Tax Glossary

Dividend Allowance

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Last updated on:
March 17, 2024

The dividend allowance in the UK is a tax relief mechanism that enables individuals to earn a specific amount of dividend income each year without paying tax on it. This guide will explore the essentials of dividend income and the dividend allowance, making it easier for shareholders to understand their tax obligations.

Understanding Dividends

Dividends are payments made to shareholders from a limited company's profits after obligations like Corporation Tax and VAT have been settled. They are a preferred form of income for many due to their tax efficiency compared to salaries or pensions. Before distribution, a company's directors must formally declare these dividends, and a dividend voucher must be issued detailing the payment.

The Dividend Allowance Explained

For the tax year 2023/24, the dividend allowance is set at £1,000. This means you can receive up to £1,000 in dividends without incurring any tax. Dividends that exceed this allowance will be subject to tax at varying rates, depending on your income tax band.

Key Points to Remember

  • Stocks & Shares ISAs: Dividends from shares held within a Stocks & Shares ISA are entirely tax-free and do not count towards your dividend allowance.
  • Tax Rates for Dividends: Any dividend income exceeding the allowance is taxed at the following rates, based on your income tax band:
    • Up to £12,570 (Personal Allowance): 0%
    • £12,571 – £50,270 (Basic Rate): 8.75%
    • £50,271 – £125,140 (Higher Rate): 33.75%
    • Over £125,141 (Additional Rate): 39.35%

Managing Dividend Taxation

If your dividend income surpasses the allowance, you'll need to report and pay tax on the excess via a Self Assessment tax return. This process can be completed online through HMRC or with assistance from tax preparation services like TaxScouts.


The dividend allowance offers a tax-efficient way for shareholders to receive income from their investments. By staying informed about the allowance and applicable tax rates, shareholders can navigate their tax obligations more effectively. Remember, dividends within an ISA remain tax-free, offering an additional strategy for managing investments tax-efficiently. For any dividends above the allowance, ensuring accurate reporting through Self Assessment is crucial to remaining compliant with HMRC regulations.

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