Dividend update

22nd May 2020

It is common practice for director/shareholders to be paid a modest salary through PAYE and pay the balance of their remuneration in dividends.  This of course is perfectly permissible if the company has profits available to distribute to shareholders and there is no breach of directors’ duty.  Unfortunately, the dramatic effect that the Coronavirus is having on trading and many companies’ abilities to continue as going concerns is likely to result in some dividends being unlawful.  In particular:

 

  • It is not enough that the last filed accounts show there are sufficient distributable reserves (which meets the requirement of section 830 of the Companies Act 2006).
  • At the time directors declare a dividend they must also have regard to trading since the year end and its effect on distributable reserves.
  • Directors must also consider if the company is still a going concern and ideally have financial forecasts to support that view.
  • The company must be solvent on both balance sheet and cash flow bases.

 

If the company’s profits are being significantly impacted during the current Covid-19 lockdown, directors need to be extremely wary of authorising any dividend payments.  If there is any doubt please contact us so we can advise on the best course of action. If dividends are not feasible you could increase salaries in due course albeit the additional salary cannot be recovered through the Job Retention scheme. Dividends should also not be paid out of government loans such as the Bounce Back Loan or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.



 
Other items in Blogs
 
Jodie Pheby
22nd July 2021 Accounts Basis Period Reform – Consultation

Under current rules, businesses draw up annual accounts to the same date each year. The profit/loss for the tax year is usually the profit/loss for the year to the accounting date – called the basis period.  Tax is paid on profits earned in the basis period ending in the tax year in question.   However,…

Read More »

Nick Edgley
15th July 2021 31st July: Can your tax payment be reduced?

Many taxpayers who are required to file a self-assessment tax return to HM Revenue & Customs should now be preparing for their next tax payment which is due by 31 July. The amount payable is the second payment-on-account for the 2020/21 tax year and is automatically calculated as half of the total tax liability for…

Read More »

Ian Piper
6th July 2021 30-Sep-21: End of most COVID support measures for SME’s

When COVID directly impacted upon the UK in Spring 2020, the Government introduced a range of measures specifically targeted to help businesses survive the expected period of financial strain. Such businesses, that are still here, should now be planning ahead for when this support is gradually unwound: 21-Jun-21 Deadline for arranging with HMRC when to…

Read More »

Megan Turner
5th July 2021 Charity annual returns

The charity annual return service is now available for 2021 and can be found on the link below. https://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/   Charities need to submit their annual return within 10 months of the financial year end.   Dependant on the level of income, the annual return has different requirements; Income under £10,000 It is only the…

Read More »

Bethan Hassey
1st July 2021 Changes to the reduced rate of VAT for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

  In July 2020 the government announced that VAT registered business who operate in the hospitality and tourism industry could use a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT on certain supplies compared to the standard 20%. The objective of this legislation was to support businesses in this sector during the Coronavirus pandemic and assist with…

Read More »

Thomas Nicholls
15th June 2021 Tax on Cryptocurrency does not have to be cryptic

Within the last 10 years the cryptocurrency scene has exploded from the first decentralised cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, being created back in 2009 to now more than 4,000 different cryptocurrencies being in existence with a total market cap value of over £1trillion.   This has led to the creation of the Cryptoassets Taskforce which was announced back…

Read More »