• Samer Tohme

Dividend Refund Rules For Private Corporations

The amount of refundable dividend tax on hand accumulates in a business generating passive (investment) income unless a taxable dividend is paid to shareholders (and therefore taxed in the owners' hands). It is expected that the business would recoup some of the dividends paid from the RDTOH account in the next year or two. To avoid taxpayers who receive passive investment income through the use of a business or a series of companies benefit from tax-deferral advantages, refundable dividend tax on hand accounts ("RDTOH") is used to account for the tax that has been paid.


At the end of a fiscal year, if a corporation pays taxable dividends to shareholders and has a surplus of RDTOH, NERDTOH, or ERDTOH, the corporation is said to be "in the black." To put it simply, the Refundable Dividend Tax On Hand is a tax on investment income that is paid in advance and cannot be refunded after the dividends have been paid. According to current expectations, this would result in the loss of the tax deferral advantage that would otherwise be available to community members who earned future investment income in the form of dividends from a private business.


The Income Tax Act of Canada was written with three fundamental principles in mind when it was first drafted: equality, simplicity, and justice. These principles are reflected to serve as a reference for legislation currently. The main aim is to eliminate incentives or disincentives to organize one's affairs in a certain way to generate fiscal savings. The conceptual objective is to "neutrality"—the Revenue Tax Act aims to achieve this objective but does not always succeed.

The equity issue, and its precursor, the Income War Tax Act, were some of the most challenging problems to overcome during the previous century. Those who can manage to incorporate a business, for example, might arrange their affairs by investing via a holding company to benefit from a lower corporate tax rate as well as a significant tax deferral. Those who can integrate and invest via the corporation's structure would be able to earn profit without paying substantially higher personal taxes, enabling their money to expand significantly on a tax-deferred basis. This was not a "fair" result for people who could not afford a corporate structure.

To counteract this, the Finance Department has established a range of regulations relating to companies' "aggregate investment income." Investment income aggregate is often characterized as "passive" income. Passive income includes dividends, rents, and interest. All revenue streams deemed less time and managerial remuneration, in contrast to active corporate revenue taxed on lower corporate rates as a matter of public policy.

Following the removal of the aggregate investment income limitations under Section 129 of the Tax Act, this tax benefit will be eliminated. Section 129 of the Internal Revenue Code establishes a dividend refund mechanism to solve the situation. Businesses are also allowed to provide dependent care support benefits to their employees on a tax-free basis under specific conditions, according to Section 129 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code).

While the complicated regulations on dividend refunds and reimbursable dividend taxes are unintuitive, they are based on a sound fiscal policy rationale. Dividend refunds are part of a Canadian Income Tax Act tax integration scheme. Tax integration refers to the complete or partial removal of corporate income double taxation. Devoid of integration, corporate income has been taxed a minimum of two times: first, as shareholder's dividend income or capital gains at a corporate level and, second, as shareholder level. If income passes through other dividend income corporations, it can be taxed more than twice without integration. Double taxing disincentives incorporation and the related advantages, such as restricted liability, and distorts investment and equity financing choices.

Furthermore, tax integration regulations further minimize any tax advantage a person may get via income through a company compared to direct income earnings. One of these advantages is that the tax on passive investment income is postponed. This is a crucial policy reason for hand accounts for the reimbursable dividend tax.

Investment Aggregate Revenue & Part IV Tax: What Are They?

Aggregate Investment Tax refers to a company's passive income, while Part IV tax usually refers to taxable dividends obtained from another corporation by a private corporation.

The aggregate investment income is subject to three amendments,

First being the deduction of small business according to s. 125(1).

Second, the general decrease in the corporate rate in accordance with 123.4(1) is refused.

Third, total investment income is subject to an extra 10.66 percent refundable tax. The outcome is a 38.66 percent overall federal tax rate somewhat higher than the maximum federal marginal personal rate.

This encourages people to "release" dividends rather than keep them as retained profits to avoid the slightly higher tax.

In contrast, profits from a non-related company for Part IV tax are liable to Part IV tax. According to the Income Tax Act, if received by an associate with the recipient, the recipient is liable to Part IV tax only if the dividend payer gets a dividend refund. Generally, if one of these conditions is fulfilled, Part IV tax on taxable dividends of a company is imposed at a rate of 38,33%.

RDTOH: Refundable Dividend Tax On Hand

As long as there is no taxable dividend paid out to shareholders in the form of a dividend, a company that generates passive (investment) income accumulates refundable dividend tax (and therefore no tax payable in their hands). It is expected that this scenario would result in a partial refund of dividends paid from the company's RDTOH account. The aim of reimbursable dividend tax on hand accounts ("RDTOH") is to account for tax payable to prevent taxpayers earning passive investment income from obtaining an income tax deferral benefit from a company or several companies. This tax, collected on RDTOH accounts, is the tax paid in accordance with section 129 by private companies or on receiving dividends in accordance with Part IV of the Income Tax Act.

The RDTOH account accrues the income and the tax paid under Part IV of the Income Tax Act on Aggregate Investment Income. These taxes prohibit taxpayers from earning a tax deferment advantage over income tax via a company. Private companies pay the tax on the RDTOH account on receipt of passive investment income. RDTOH has modified the concept and computation for taxation years starting after 2018. RDTOH is now separately defined in accordance with 129(4) of the Income Tax Act for eligible dividends and non-eligible dividends. Qualified dividends are described in 89(1) as amounts received from private companies from a person residing in Canada, payable by a company living in Canada. Furthermore, a company must appoint a part of the distribution that is an eligible dividend in writing. Non-eligible dividends are those given to a small company deducted by a Canadian-Controlled Private Enterprise (CCPC) ("SBD").

As CCPCs pay a lower corporate income tax rate on active business income, individuals receiving non-eligible dividends get a minor income tax credit at the company's level than their eligible dividends. Retrievable dividend tax accumulates separately in its respective RDTOH accounts for qualified and non-eligible dividends when the company receives investment securities income. The company collects refundable tax on passive investment income from eligible portfolio dividends in its eligible account. The company accrues in the non-eligible account refundable tax paid on active business revenue received under the lower corporate rate. The new rules prevent a company from receiving the dividend from its qualifying RDTOH account until the balance remains in the non-eligible RDTOH account in the corporation. This modification was intended to discourage the use of CCPCs as passive investment vehicles since the tax benefit was delayed.

The Rules for Dividend Refunds

According to Section 129(1) of the Income Tax Act, private companies may seek a refund of the tax they paid on taxable dividends earned on their capital stock during a calendar year by submitting a claim to the Canada Revenue Agency. In some situations, private businesses that pay certain kinds of taxable dividends during an income tax year may be eligible to receive a dividend return from the government.

For a company to be classed as private, it must meet all three of the following criteria: it cannot be publicly traded (i.e., it cannot be listed on a public stock exchange); it cannot be managed by a public or Crown body, and it must be situated inside the borders of Canada.

So the regulations governing dividend reinvestment apply to Canadian-controlled private businesses (CCPCs) and other private firms that do not satisfy the requirements to be classified as a Canadian-controlled private company.

A corporation's retained earnings and dividends before income tax (RDTOH) accumulate Part IV tax, preventing ultimate shareholders from taking advantage of a deferral advantage on income tax paid on the corporation's investment income. Suppose these amounts are distributed to shareholders, and the shareholders are subject to direct taxation. In that case, the tax paid on the passive investment revenue regarding the dividend amount is refunded to the corporation, resulting in the overall rate of taxation on passive income remaining at the same level regardless of whether the income was earned through a corporation or directly by a single person.

Dividend tax that has been accrued but is not refundable (Pro-Tax Tips)


A new set of regulations was added to an already complicated system due to the modifications made in 2018, making it more challenging to navigate. In conjunction with these revisions, a transitional rule was created to allow a private company's RDTOH balance from previous to 2018 to be included in the current balance of the business. When it comes to filing business tax returns, RDTOH accounting is essential. To avoid paying more tax than necessary, it is essential to do business tax planning before making corporate investment choices. This will guarantee that your company does not wind up paying more tax than it should.

FAQs


Is there a difference between the Dividend Refund Rules in 2018 and the Rules in 2017?

As a result of the 2018 Budget, changes were made to the regulations governing dividend refunds, restricting the number of dividend refunds that may be given out in the event of qualified dividends. If another company receives qualified portfolio dividends, an exemption from the taxation of such dividends applies. The refundable tax on the hand account is now computed individually for both eligible and non-eligible dividends, regardless of whether they are taxable. The implementation of this provision was one of the many steps taken to prevent individuals from taking advantage of the lower tax rates and tax deferral advantages provided by the small business deduction and tax deferral benefits while earning investment income through private businesses, which was one of the numerous steps taken to accomplish this goal.

When it comes to a Refundable Dividend Tax On Hand Account, what precisely is it, and how does it work in practice?

It is possible to prepay shareholder tax on both eligible and non-eligible dividends in advance using the Refundable Dividend Tax On Hand ("RDTOH") account without incurring any extra costs. With this tax on private companies, the government hopes to remove the tax deferral benefit that individuals may get from investing via a privately held corporation. It is maintained in the RDTOH account a record of the tax paid on investment income, which is roughly equivalent to the highest federal marginal tax rate applicable to individual taxpayers. This procedure must be followed to claim tax credits on the amount paid when dividends are issued and, consequently, shareholder tax is paid.

When it comes to deciding whether or not a dividend is refundable, what is the formula?

It is possible to determine the amount of a private company's dividend refund for a particular tax year simply by multiplying three amounts: A, B, and C by the number of shares of the business in question. It is the smaller of 38.33 percent of all eligible dividends paid in the year, or the balance of a private corporation's Refundable Dividend Tax On Hand ("RDTOH") account for eligible dividends at the end of that year that is considered Amount A. Number B is the smaller of 38.33 percent of all non-eligible dividends paid in the year or a private corporation's RDTOH account balance for non-eligible dividends after that year. Amount C is the smaller of the two figures. Amount C is zero for taxes if the sum of non-eligible dividends paid by the company in a particular year of taxation does not surpass the corporation's non-eligible RDTOH balance at the end of the year.

Where can I get the formula for computing dividend refunds at the RDTOH office?

It is possible to determine the amount of a private company's dividend refund for a particular tax year simply by multiplying three amounts: A, B, and C by the number of shares of the business in question. It is the smaller of 38.33 percent of all eligible dividends paid in the year, or the balance of a private corporation's Refundable Dividend Tax On Hand ("RDTOH") account for eligible dividends at the end of that year that is considered Amount A. Number B is the smaller of 38.33 percent of all non-eligible dividends paid in the year or a private corporation's RDTOH account balance for non-eligible dividends after that year. Amount C is the smaller of the two figures. Amount C is zero for taxes if the sum of non-eligible dividends paid by the company in a particular taxation year does not exceed the corporation's non-eligible RDTOH balance at the end of the year.


Recent Posts

See All