How are dividends calculated and paid out?

Many companies pay out dividends either on an annual, semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly basis.

Below is an example of a company declaring dividends.




Ex/EFF Date: The ex-dividend date or ex-date marks the cutoff point for shareholders to be credited a pending stock dividend. To receive the upcoming dividend, shareholders must have bought the stock before the ex-dividend date. Share prices usually drop by the amount of the dividend on the ex-dividend date.

Cash Amount: The dividend amount per share to be paid to investors

Declaration Date: This is the date on which the company announces that it will be issuing a dividend in the future

Record Date: This is the cut-off date used to determine which shareholders are entitled to a corporate dividend. To be eligible for the dividend, you must buy the stock at least two business days before the record date.

Payment Date: The date on which the dividends will be paid out.


You can find applicable dividend dates by searching for an asset here:


There are dividend taxes applicable for non-US residents invested in companies trading on the US market. Below are examples for both US and Canadian companies. 


US Stocks/Companies: 

All assets trading on the US markets are subject to the dividend withholding tax. This is a tax that is deductible from dividends before they are paid out. This tax is 30%. For example, if an ETF is paying a dividend of $1, you would receive $0.7 in your account. This tax is automatically deducted at source, so no action is required on your end.


Taking the example from the graphic above:

ABC Dividend rate= $1.13/share

Total ABC shares owned as of Ex-date = 100 shares.

Eligible dividend= 100 * $1.13 = $113.00

Applicable US Withholding tax of 30%= $113.00 * 0.7= $79.10 - This is the final amount that will be paid


Canadian Stocks/Companies:

When investing in Canadian companies through a US-based broker such as ours, the 30% tax isn't applicable, however there is a 15% withholding tax applied at source. 

Please note this tax is not calculated the same as the 30% but rather applied to the dividend rate.


Taking the example from the graphic above (assuming it's a Canadian company now):

ABC Dividend rate= $1.13/share

Rate after Canadian 15% withholding tax= $1.13 * 0.85= $0.9605/share

Total ABC shares owned as of Ex-date = 100 shares.

Eligible dividend= 100 * $0.9605 = $96.05


Please note, our clearing firm holds Canadian dividends for 2 business days after payable date because they have to reflect tax withholding adjustments. These dividends will be paid into your account 2 business days after the payment date. 





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