Bonus shares instead of dividend

  1. 19 Posts.
    Some coys (e.g. BEN and HIL) allow shareholders to elect to forego dividends and receive bonus shares instead. This is known to be a very good idea if the original shares have been held since 19/09/1985. However the tax treatment of bonus issues on top of post-85 original shares is not clear. My interpretation based on BEN website and HIL booklet is:
    (1) no franking credits
    (2) no liability for income tax
    (3) cost base for CGT is effectively zero
    (4) CGT payable on disposal (at 50% discount if held for more than 1 year after bonus issue)

    The ATO website is not very helpful -- it seems to more or less agree with the above but then it also says that if the bonus shares are received instead of a dividend then they are taxed just like a dividend.

    Anyone out there know what the real story is?

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