Difference Between Eligible and Non-eligible Dividends


In the world of investing, dividends are a way to get a steady stream of income that can boost a person's returns more than just price growth. They come in different forms, and understanding their nuances can lead to better investing outcomes. This article is all about the differences between dividends that are eligible and dividends that are not eligible in Canada. Our trip will take us through the complicated world of these two types of dividends and show you how they can affect your investment decisions.

What Is A Dividend Income?

Dividends are payments made by an organization to its shareholders, normally within the form of cash or extra shares. These payments constitute a portion of the organization’s earnings disbursed to its proprietors, i.e., the shareholders.

Investors often find dividends attractive for two reasons. Firstly, they offer a steady income stream, especially appealing to those seeking regular returns on their investments. Secondly, dividends often signal a company's financial health. Companies that consistently pay dividends are generally considered stable and profitable.

A dividend from a corporation is usually reported on a T5 slip to be included in your personal taxes.

Assuming that a dividend is obtained from a enterprise resident in Canada, it is going to be taxed at a lower rate than other types of earnings, inclusive of employment or interest profits. The purpose is that the earnings earned by way of the employer and used to pay the dividend has already been difficulty to corporate tax. Thus, there's a mechanism designed to offer credit score for taxes already paid on the corporate stage.

Dividends paid by Canadian corporations are classified as either “eligible,” “non-eligible”.

Eligible Dividends

An eligible dividend is a taxable dividend that is paid via a Canadian resident agency, acquired via a Canadian resident individual, and particular by an organization as an eligible dividend beneath segment 89(14) of the Income Tax Act. Eligible dividends are typically obtained from public organizations (who do now not obtain the small commercial enterprise deduction) or personal businesses with high profits (net income over the $500,000 small enterprise deduction). Those forms of companies pay company tax at higher fees than small businesses. A portion of income that is taxed at the higher corporate tax rate flows into a corporation’s general rate income pool (GRIP) balance and accumulates. GRIP represents the after-tax amount of income that has been subject to the higher corporate tax rate.

Eligible dividends are “grossed up” to reflect corporate income earned, and then provided with an enhanced dividend tax credit which reflects the higher rate of corporate tax that has been paid. Eligible dividends are therefore taxed at a lower rate when received by individuals than non-eligible dividends. This is what causes eligible dividends to be taxed more favorably on your personal taxes compared to non-eligible dividends.

Non-Eligible Dividends

Non-eligible dividends, also known as regular, ordinary, or small business dividends, dividends are generally received from Canadian private corporations that have paid the lower tax rate on the first 0,000 of income. Non-eligible dividends are also grossed-up to reflect pre-tax corporate income and then provided with a lower dividend tax credit since the corporation has paid less corporate tax. However, the percentages used are different to reflect corporate tax paid at a lesser rate. Therefore no income is taxed at the higher corporate rate and no GRIP pool is created, meaning eligible dividends are not able to be issued.

Note – The dividend tax credit applies only to Canadian resident individuals receiving taxable dividends from Canadian resident corporations. It does not apply to dividends you receive from foreign corporations, as it is not considered appropriate for the Canadian government to provide you with a credit for foreign corporate tax paid by the foreign corporation. However, you will get a foreign tax credit for the foreign tax that you pay personally on the dividend (often a 15% withholding tax, but the rate depends on the country and the provisions of Canada’s tax treaty with that country if there is one).

As you can see eligible and non-eligible dividends are treated differently. It’s important to know the differences between them and how they can impact the amount of tax you pay so you can plan accordingly with your tax accountant.

Our experienced and professional team at Filing Taxes is here to set you on the right path considering your personal business situation. Feel free to reach out to Filing Taxes at 416-479-8532. Schedule an NTR engagement appointment with us and take the first step towards proper management of your finances.

Strategies to Maximize Dividend Income

Understanding your tax bracket and the nature of your dividends is crucial to maximize your income. Utilizing tax-advantaged accounts, diversifying investments across different dividend-paying companies, and conducting thorough risk assessments are among the strategies to optimize your returns.

Future Trends and Predictions

The tax landscape and economic conditions are ever-evolving, and these changes can impact the dividends landscape. It's essential to stay informed about these trends to make the most of your investment decisions.

Advice for Investors

Whether you're a novice investor or a seasoned pro, understanding dividends and their tax implications is vital. We've provided tips and advanced strategies to help guide your investing journey.

Expert Opinions and Advice

We've included insights from financial analysts and tax experts to provide a well-rounded perspective on dividend investing. Their advice can offer additional clarity and guidance in making investment decisions.

Dividends in the Context of Retirement Planning

In the realm of retirement planning, dividends can be an essential income source. We've discussed strategies to maximize this income, taking into account the unique considerations for retirement planning.

Legal Aspects of Eligible and Non-Eligible Dividends

There are specific legal requirements and implications associated with dividends. We've covered these to ensure you understand the legal landscape surrounding eligible and non-eligible dividends.

Review and Summary of Key Points

We've recapped the crucial points from our discussion to reinforce your understanding of the topic. This summary can serve as a handy reference for future dividend-related queries.


It is important to know the difference between dividends that are eligible and dividends that are not eligible. We hope this article has helped you understand these rules and given you the information you need to make smart investment choices in Canada.. Always take into account, a properly-informed investor is a successful investor.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not consider your personal situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from accounting and financial professionals. Salman Rundhawa and Filing Taxes will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.

Written By:
Salman Rundhawa
Salman Rundhawa is the founder of Filing Taxes. Salman provides valuable tax planning, accounting, and income tax preparation services in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, and Hamilton.

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