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Accelerated Dividend

Accelerated Dividend

What Is an Accelerated Dividend?

An accelerated dividend is a special dividend paid by a company ahead of an unavoidable change in the treatment of dividends, like an adverse change in dividend taxation. Companies will likewise sometimes seek after an accelerated dividend strategy to drive growth by conveying a message to investors that the company is getting more cash than it understands how to manage.

Grasping Accelerated Dividends

Companies in the U.S. what's more, U.K. issue accelerated dividends when they guess that impending changes in policy or tax rules could neutralize their shareholders. On the off chance that a proposed rule is probably going to increase the tax liabilities for the average shareholder, a company might issue a one-time lump payment as an accelerated dividend before the new rules produce results.

Now and again, companies might issue extra dividends for different reasons. For example, a company with extra cash on its books could issue an accelerated dividend as a one-time reward for shareholders. A company that is restructuring, selling off assets, or spinning off a subsidiary could issue the proceeds to investors as an accelerated dividend.

$522 billion

U.S. dividends arrived at a record $522 billion out of 2021, a 3.5% increase over the previous year.

History of Accelerated Dividends

Many companies take great measures to limit the potential tax bill to their shareholders. A few strategies included combining future dividend payments into one payout and assuming debt to pay accelerated dividends.

Accelerated dividends from U.S. companies came to the front in the fourth quarter of 2012. During that period, various companies expedited dividend payments ahead of the Dec. 31, 2012 expiration of the special 15% tax on dividend income established by former President George W. Bush in 2003. The concern was that in view of the fiscal cliff, the dividend tax rate might beyond double for taxpayers in the highest income at some point bracket.

U.S. companies scrambled to pay accelerated dividends in the fourth quarter of 2012, with total special dividend declarations exceeding $31 billion, an increase of multiple times the dividend payout made in the year-sooner period. In November 2012 alone, 228 companies announced special dividends, a more than three-overlay increase from the 72 companies that did so a year sooner.

Fears that the tax rate on dividends could take off from 15% to more than 40% for big league salary taxpayers thusly proved to be unwarranted. Because of a somewhat late fiscal cliff deal endorsed in January 2013, the top marginal tax rate on dividend income was set at 20% for taxpayers with a adjusted gross income of more than $200,000, or $250,000 whenever married and filing jointly.

In 2016, the United Kingdom presented another layered dividend taxation system. This too prompted accelerated dividend payments by numerous public and private companies.

One of the greatest dividend issuers is Microsoft (MSFT), which represented $1 of each $30 in U.S. dividend payouts for 2021.

Accelerated Dividends versus Special Dividends versus Normal Dividends

At the point when a company pays out a bizarrely large dividend, this is might be called a special dividend. Such a dividend might be tied to the sale of an asset, or the company might have heaps of cash and chooses to funnel it back to shareholders.

In the event that the company restructures or executes innovations that will save the company a lot of money, a portion of those saving (bringing about greater profits) might be given to shareholders as a dividend.

Certifiable Examples of Accelerated Dividends

Seaboard Corp. (SEB) accelerated its $3 annual dividend for the 2013 to 2016 period and made a single consolidated dividend payment on Dec. 28, 2012.

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) accelerated its dividend payments for the initial 3/4 of 2013, combining its quarterly dividend of $0.06 per share into one payment of $0.18 paid on Dec. 21, 2012. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who owned 1.1 billion Oracle shares at that point, received close to $200 million from the accelerated dividend payment, saving more than $50 million in federal income taxes.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) paid out a special dividend of $7 per share for a total of $3 billion and funded it by taking on $3.5 billion in debt.


  • Accelerated dividends are a type of special dividend, however the terms are frequently utilized interchangeably.
  • Companies might issue accelerated dividends ahead of a tax policy change trying to limit the shareholder's tax bill on the dividends.
  • An accelerated dividend is when future dividends are paid in a lump sum rather than consistently after some time.
  • Companies may likewise issue accelerated dividends after a large cash windfall, like after the sale of a major asset.
  • In both the U.S. furthermore, the U.K. there have been examples of companies paying out large dividends before taxation changes.


How long Do You Have to Own a Stock to Be Eligible for a Dividend?

To be eligible for a dividend, you must claim a stock for two business days before the date of record, when the company checks its records to distinguish shareholders of the company. The next day is known as the ex-dividend date. Shares bought on or after the ex-dividend date are not owed a dividend.

How could a Company Pay an Accelerated Dividend or a Special Dividend?

The most common motivation to issue an accelerated dividend is assuming that an expected tax law or policy change is probably going to increase the tax liability for shareholders getting dividends later on. An accelerated dividend permits companies to make a substantial one-time payment to their shareholders before the new rules produce results. Special dividends may likewise be issued after the sale of a major asset, when the company has extra cash on its books.

How frequently a Year Are Dividends Paid?

Most companies that pay dividends do as such on a quarterly basis. Notwithstanding, it is additionally conceivable to issue dividends at any set schedule, like month to month, annual, or semi-annual dividends. Numerous youthful companies don't issue dividends, liking to reinvest the extra cash flow in developing the company.

The amount Are Dividends Taxed?

Dividends are taxed at various rates, contingent upon whether they are qualified or non-qualified. Qualified dividends are taxed at the capital gains tax rate, which is normally lower than ordinary income taxes. Non-qualified dividends are regularly issued for common stock, and taxed at a similar rate as ordinary income.