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Dividends Distributed as Shares - Taxable Now?


Content provided for general information. Talk to your advisor to learn about recent updates or other rules that may apply to your situation.

When it comes to taxes, it's always best to stay informed and ahead of the game. As a shareholder in an LLC, you may have received dividends in both cash and shares, and now you're wondering about the tax implications of these distributions. The cash is already taxable as ordinary income, but what about the shares? Are they taxable now or only when liquidated in the future? It's a tough question to search for, but don't worry, we're here to help.

Understanding Dividends

First, let's start with the basics. Dividends are payments made by a company to its shareholders as a distribution of profits. They can be paid in various forms, such as cash, stock, or property. In the case of an LLC, dividends are typically paid out to members in proportion to their ownership or membership interests.

As a shareholder, you may receive dividends in cash, which are taxable as ordinary income in the year they are received. This means you must report the amount as income on your tax return and pay taxes on it accordingly. But what about dividends paid in shares? Are they also taxable in the same manner?

Taxability of Dividends in Shares

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. The taxability of dividends in shares depends on a few factors, such as the type of shares received and the holding period of those shares.

If the shares received are in the form of stock dividends, also known as stock splits, they are not taxable at the time of distribution. This is because the value of your investment remains the same, even though the number of shares you hold may have increased. For tax purposes, this is not considered a distribution of profits but rather a reallocation of your investment.

However, if the shares received are in the form of a stock dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP), they are taxable as ordinary income in the year they are received. This is because you are receiving additional shares as a form of income, which increases the value of your investment.

Another scenario to consider is if you receive dividends in the form of property, such as real estate or equipment. In this case, the fair market value of the property received is taxable as ordinary income in the year of distribution.

Holding Period and Tax Implications

As mentioned earlier, the holding period of the shares received also plays a role in their taxability. If you receive dividends in shares, the holding period of those shares is typically the same as the original shares you owned. For example, if you held your original shares for more than one year, the dividends received in shares would also be considered long-term capital gains.

However, if you receive stock dividends that result in a change of ownership, such as a stock split or reverse split, the holding period starts on the day after the distribution is made. This means you would have a new holding period for the shares received, which could affect the tax implications when the shares are eventually sold.

Consult a Tax Advisor

As with any tax-related question, it's always best to consult a tax advisor for personalized advice. A tax advisor can review your specific situation and provide guidance on the tax implications of dividends received in shares. They can also help ensure that you are reporting your dividends correctly on your tax return to avoid any potential issues with the IRS.

In conclusion, the taxability of dividends received in shares depends on the type of shares received and the holding period of those shares. It's important to stay informed and consult a tax advisor to ensure you are reporting your dividends correctly and minimizing any potential tax liabilities.