HMRC Dividend Allowance factsheet

Reviewed by Mike Parkes, technical director, GoSimple Software


HMRC Dividend Allowance factsheet

The HMRC dividend allowance means that you can receive a limited amount of dividends tax-free. Above that limit, special rates of tax apply. Dividends on any shares held in an ISA are also tax-free.

The tax treatment of dividends has changed several times in recent years, so it’s important to make sure you understand the current rules.

Dividend allowance 2018/19

The dividend allowance for the tax year 2018/19 is £2,000. This is a significant reduction from the previous year.

For up to £2,000 of dividend income, there is no tax to pay – regardless of how much other income you have.

For higher amounts of dividends, the rate of tax depends on your total income – including other, non-dividend income:

  • the first £2,000 of dividend income is still tax-free;
  • any extra dividend income within the basic rate band (up to £46,350 for someone with a personal allowance of £11,850), is taxed at 7.5%;
  • for dividends that fall within the higher rate band (up to £150,000), the rate is 32.5%;
  • for dividends in the additional rate band, the rate is 38.1%.

You can find examples of dividend tax calculation from HMRC. Note that HMRC’s examples are based on the tax allowances and rates for 2016/17.

Declaring dividend income

If you already complete a self assessment tax return, you include dividends in this. You declare the total dividends received, even if the amount is less than the dividend allowance.

If you do not normally complete a self assessment tax return:

You do not need to declare (or pay tax on) any dividends from ISAs.

Simple TaxNeed help with your self assessment tax return?

GoSimpleTax makes your self assessment tax return quick and easy, helping you figure out which expenses and allowances you can claim.

Get SimpleTax Gold for £30.60 with our 15% discount code (DONUTS18).

Sign up now

Dividend allowances for previous years

The dividend allowance for 2017/18 was £5,000.

The dividend allowance for 2016/17 was also £5,000.

For 2015/16 and earlier years, there was no dividend allowance. But the rates of tax payable on dividend income were lower than the current rates:

  • for basic rate taxpayers, 0%;
  • for income in the higher rate band, 25%;
  • for income in the additional rate band, 30.56% (36.11% before April 2013).

Content reviewed by Mike Parkes, technical director, GoSimple Software

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.