Dividend yields may climb on new income tax proposal
India’s budget proposal
to abolish dividend tax for companies could encourage more payouts to
investors, according to CLSA. The plan lets domestic companies avoid taxes on
dividends received from other firms if they distribute an equal or greater
amount of the payout to investors. Companies with a high share of dividend
income from subsidiaries, associates and investments will see an increase in
profit-after-tax if they pay this amount as dividends, boosting their earnings
per share, CLSA said a note this week.
“These tax benefits
should help in boosting India’s dividend yield, which is by far the lowest
among its Asian peers," the analysts wrote. “This law aims to ensure any
tax on dividends should only be paid by the final beneficiary who chooses to
consume this amount rather than further redistribute it."
According to CLSA, a
company where received dividends are 8% of its net profit will see an increase
in profits by 2%. In contrast, a company that chooses to pay no dividend will
see a cut in profit equivalent to 6% of the amount of dividend income.
The biggest EPS gains
will be at Bharti Infratel Ltd., Oil India Ltd., BPCL Ltd., IOCL Ltd., ICICI
Bank Ltd., Larsen & Toubro Ltd., Gail India Ltd., ONGC Ltd. and HDFC Ltd.,
the brokerage said.
The proposal is aimed at
eliminating double taxation, according to CLSA. Until now, companies paid as
much as 20.6% tax on dividends or returns it distributed to shareholders while
the investors received it tax-free. The budget proposes to pass on the tax
burden to investors by treating payouts as a part of their regular incomes.
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