The dividend allowance means that the first £1,000 of dividends you receive are tax-free. But how does this allowance work in practice in the 2023/24 tax year?
A brief history of the Dividend Allowance
The allowance was first implemented in April 2016, as part of a radical shake-up in the way dividends are taxed.
This resulted in an additional tax burden of several thousand pounds per year for many small company owners.
First implemented in April 2016
The one concession provided by the Government was the creation of a tax-free ‘dividend allowance’.
At first, this applied to the first £5,000 of dividend income. But, significantly, this sum sat within the relevant tax band for overall taxation purposes.
The Dividend Allowance will not reduce your total income for tax purposes. However, it will mean that you don’t have any tax to pay on the first £5,000 of dividend income you receive.
Allowance cut in subsequent years
In April 2018 the allowance was cut to £2,000 and stayed at that level for 5 years.
From April 2023, the allowance will be cut to £1,000 and to £500 from April 2024 onwards.
This means that for the 2023/24 tax year, you are not taxed on the first £1,000 of dividend income you receive.
How much will the dividend allowance be in 2023/24 and 2024/25?
At his Autumn Statment (17th November 2022), Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the dividend allowance will be cut to £1,000 for the 2023/4 tax year, and to a mere £500 for the 2024/5 tax year.
How much was the dividend allowance in 2021/22 and 2022/23?
The allowance was £2,000 for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 tax years.
This is separate from the personal allowance which was £12,570 for both tax years.
Dividend Allowance since 2016/17
|Tax Year||Dividend Allowance|
How does the dividend allowance work in practice in 2023/4?
Here is an example of how this tax concession works for a limited company owner drawing down a £12,570 salary plus £50,000 dividends during the 2024/24 tax year.
You can input your own salary/dividend mix into our dividend tax calculator.
- The £12,570 salary takes up the entire 2023/24 tax-free personal allowance.
- The first £1,000 of dividends is tax-free, due to the dividend allowance.
- The next £36,700 of dividends are taxed at 8.75% (basic rate) = £3,211.25.
- The remaining £12,300 dividends are taxed at 33.75% (higher rate) = £4,151.25.
- The total dividend tax liability is £7,362.50.
Notice how the £1,000 dividend allowance is tax-free, but still takes up the first £1,000 of your basic rate tax band (£0-£37,700 during 2023-24).
What about dividends paid into your pension or ISA?
Dividends paid into your pension or ISA are free from dividend tax and don’t count towards your dividend allowance.
- The original dividend allowance factsheet from April 2016.
- You can download a Government explanation of the dividend allowance reduction to £2,000 following the 2017 spring budget.
- Government announcement on the 2023 reduction to £1,000.