Debenhams normally pays dividends to its shareholders twice a year. Dividends are usually paid after the half-year and full year financial results. The interim dividend is usually paid in July and the final dividend in January. Payment is made either by cheque or direct into your bank account. For each payment you will receive a Dividend Confirmation, which should be retained in case it is required by HMRC when completing your tax return, with a cheque attached if the dividend is not being paid directly to your bank account.
Dividends paid into your bank account
This is our preferred method for paying dividends. It is the quickest and most secure way to receive your dividends and also reduces the paper and postage we use. Using BACS (Bank Automated Clearing System) we are able to pay your dividend straight into your chosen UK bank/building society account on the dividend payment date.
The bank account information you provide will not be shared with third parties. It will be held by Equiniti as part of your shareholder account details. If you wish to receive your dividends direct into your bank account please complete the dividend mandate form (download here) and return it to Equiniti at the address on the form.
Should you not have a UK bank or building society account Equiniti do offer an Overseas Payment Service to a number of countries. Further details can be obtained by contacting Equiniti on telephone number 0371 384 2030 (+44 121 415 7047), or on their website www.shareview.co.uk
Taxes on Dividends
Up to April 2016, any dividend paid represented 90% of the shareholder's dividend income on that dividend. The remaining 10% of the dividend income was made up of a tax credit – tax on profits already paid – or due to be paid – by the Company. Shareholders were sent a voucher that showed the dividend paid and the 10% tax credit which they could then offset against any UK income tax due on dividend income.
From April 2016 the dividend tax credit was replaced by a tax-free dividend allowance. The dividend allowance does not reduce your total income for tax purposes, but it means that you don't have to pay tax on the first £5,000 of your dividend income (£2,000 from April 2018), no matter what non-dividend income you have. The allowance is available to anyone who has dividend income. Tax on any dividends you receive over £5,000 (£2,000 from April 2018) is payable at the following rates:
- 7.5% on dividend income within the basic rate band
- 32.5% on dividend income within the higher rate band
- 38.1% on dividend income within the additional rate band.
Dividends within your allowance still count towards your basic or higher rate bands, and may therefore affect the rate of tax that you pay on dividends you receive in excess of the dividend allowance.
If you have received your dividend payments by cheque in the past, Equiniti will advise, on each dividend payment date if you have dividends still owing to you. To receive payment of any dividends paid since January 2007, you can either complete the dividend mandate form (referred to above), which will also mean that all future dividends will be paid to you in this way, or, you can contact Equiniti on 0371 384 2766 (+44 121 415 0267) to request a cheque payment.
How do shareholder accounts become dormant?
When we mail dividends to shareholders, some of the cheques do not get cashed. This is normally because the shareholder no longer lives at the address we have on the register for them. Once our records show that three consecutive dividends have been sent, and remain uncashed, the shareholder is considered 'gone away' from the address on the share register. All mail is then suspended until the shareholder gets in touch with us (this is a security measure). If you believe you have not received any mail for some time please contact Equiniti on 0371 384 2766 (+44 121 415 0267).
Have we proactively looked for 'gone away' shareholders?
As mentioned, on payment of each interim and final dividend, we send reminders to all our shareholders so that they may claim any possible unclaimed dividends paid since 2007.
In addition, in 2014, we also worked with a professional asset reunification company (ProSearch) to search for past shareholders who had sums owing to them which had been paid by the previously listed company Debenhams prior to December 2003. This programme successfully reunited over 3,000 shareholders with funds totalling over £1m. This programme has now closed and the remaining funds, which relate to payments made over 12 years ago, have been forfeited by the Company.