What is the dividend?


A small amount of profit is taken out from a company’s earnings for allotting it to shareholders, that distributive part is known as dividend. It is a shared part of earnings but sometimes it is not shared due to facing more losses or more debts by the company. A shareholder can get dividends in any form whether it is cash, stock, property, or any other share that is calculated as a per invested share.

Dividend – Is it a distributing amount or reinvesting amount?

Simply, when a company earns good income monthly, quarterly, or yearly from which they take out actual profit or revenue that generated by the company with the motive of distribution. As per decided proportion of dividend is given to shareholders, not from more than achieved surplus. On the other hand, when a company earns bad income, a dividend is not distributed; rather it is utilized for reinvestment or to cover extra debts to reduce the financial burden of a company. As answering the question, a dividend can be used for both purposes depending on the company’s situation.

The situation of avoiding distribution comes when the company is sunk into debt badly, then that part of profits covers all debts that the company suffers and the situation of reinvesting of profits when a company has a shortage of capital to reinvestment in new business projects. That’s the only reason for not distributing a dividend.

Are the dividend and retained earnings the same?

It’s right that dividends and retained earnings are part of profits for shareholders but not used for the same purpose.

Both terms are different from each other. How? Let’s see.

Distributed to: A part of earnings that is distributed among shareholders is known as dividends. On the other hand, a part of earnings that is not distributed is known as retained earnings.

Reinvested: A dividend is not taken out for reinvestment, the main motive to distribute among shareholders. On the other hand, retained earnings are taken out from profits for reinvesting in business projects or purchasing assets for producing business products.

Recorded in: A dividend is recorded as a dividend payable (that is left to pay to shareholders) under a liability. On the other hand, retained earnings are recorded as equity under the section of shareholder’s equity.

Reward for: Both are considered as a reward but the dividend is a reward for shareholders and retained earnings (also treated as share capital) are a reward for the whole company. Overall, both are beneficial for a company’s growth.

Fixed share: A dividend share fixes for shareholders (or depends on their contribution) and retained earnings share not fixes, it depends on the company how much they require for reinvestment.

Expense: A dividend is not treated as an expense for the company, treated as an income for shareholders (and right for them). On the other hand, retained earnings are treated as investment capital which can be said to be an expense that covers small expenses in the business.

Paid time: A dividend is paid on time to shareholders but there is no time to invest retained earnings in a business, it is used when it is required or a new project is launched. Dividend contains fixed schedule but retained earnings not.

Major profit: A retained earnings has a larger share of profit than the share of the dividend because it is utilized for investment motive.

Is a dividend an expense or income?

A Dividend is not an expense, it is an income for shareholders or members of the business who have big support towards a company to build.

As we said, it is a profit payment on which shareholders have a right and happily take it as an income that they get by investing money into the corporation. An invested capital decides the share of dividend only, which is considered as a reward for shareholders after generating revenue. Getting dividends as a shareholder also expects more in the next profit year by investing their shares and same as the company expects major capital to invest incoming from the shareholders. It is treated as a pre-tax expense for the company.

Who decides the dividend percentage to contribute?

The share of dividends is decided and approved by the shareholders and their votes matter in deciding a dividend payment to receive but the approval comes from the board of directors. They decided on their shares before investing capital into a business project so that no confusion or disappointment was involved at that time.

A shareholder never asks for the distribution of retained earnings from the company because they know some part of an income is saved in a company’s funds to meet future reinvestment projects. Retained earnings are chosen from income, not counted as an income or profits; rather it is known as share capital that is secured for major business upcoming projects and to cover petty expenses.

All dividend plans or patterns are decided with a concern of the board of directors, they have a major part to run the company on a commercial platform. The last announcement came from them to finalize such things as payment date and record date with the number of shares. Once a dividend is received, a record date (who get dividend), payment date (When they get), ex-dividend date (describes the date on which shareholders didn’t get dividend or expires date), and last announcement date (declaration date or approval date) are recorded in the separate books in chronological order by the company’s accountants.

How does a dividend impact financial statements?

The entry passed in a financial statement that represents what they received from the shareholders. It is recorded in the profit and loss statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement for other reasons that are definable. Dividend share changes according to the share of investment that was declared at the beginning and each shareholder and investors are aware of it before making an investment. A dividend also affects corporate tax which is paid by the company on dividend profit tax before distribution. The lower tax rate is charged on dividend profit in the United States.

Is it necessary to pay dividends?

Yes, it is necessary to pay once the company generates profits but if not, it is not required or depended on investors and members who have their rights on dividend money.

Most of the companies prefer to pay dividends because they think that some portion of a profit as a dividend is a right of investors and shareholders and BOD wants that they accept as a reward. Also, they want to stand their relations with them through trust and honesty so that shareholders keep supporting them without any doubts. Some companies do not prefer to pay dividends due to tax charge income for them. That’s why they save that money to meet its business tax.

What high-rate dividend show?

A High-rate dividend shows the company is on a good track and performing well to generate profits, also shows the eligibility to continue the growth with a better experience. On the other hand, it shows its weakness in saving investing funds for reinvestment motives.

What does a low-rate dividend show?

A Low-rate dividend shows the company is not on a good track and not performing well to generate profits or revenue, also shows how the company is eligible to fight with poor financial circumstances and able to be a part of a new business project as an investor.

What are the forms of dividend to pay?

The dividend is paid out in four forms: cash, stock, property, and scrip. All are accepted by the shareholders but when shareholders receive cash as a dividend, the entry is passed in the cash flow statement. The ratio of cash payout dividend is calculated through dividends per share by cash flow per share multiplied by 100. Many social payments apps and banks use to transfer dividend cash to shareholders’ accounts at the end of a year after declaration and approval by the BOD.

But if directors pay dividends in the form of stock, that could be an additional investment for corporations and this increases the stock section.

And if directors pay dividends in the form of property or assets, it means the company is increasing the value of their assets because shareholders prefer to invest assets in the company to increase their shares. The Property includes a share of land, securities, bonds, and warrants.

Why do we use a dividend payout ratio?

You should use the dividend payout ratio to measure the capability of the company to pay a dividend to shareholders from income. Generally, the shareholders get their dividend on the percentage of 80%, they can’t exceed more to avoid financial burden. Retained earnings might be low due to high paid dividends and might be high due to low paid dividends. At the last, the entries are passed in the financial statements after paying taxes and including interim dividends.

How tax is charged on dividend payments?

The countries have a different set of rules to impose taxes on dividend profits that has been set by the government. The tax is levied on the basis of income, US countries charge lower corporate tax on profits than other countries. Other countries charge higher taxes which include dividend tax plus income tax followed by the dividend imputation system where companies have a proof of paying taxes on their profits.

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