Vincents for Individuals
Vincents for SME
Vincents for Corporate
Vincents for Government
Vincents for NFP
Back to Insights

The dreaded distributable surplus calculation: Is your business Division 7A compliant?



Want to know more?

Contact Us

What is Division 7A?

Division 7A is an integrity measure that was designed to prevent companies from making tax-free distributions to shareholders or their associates.

What do you need to know?

After a quick glance at the balance sheet, you might prematurely assume you don’t have any distributable surplus and therefore there is no deemed dividend.

However, the Commissioner of Taxation has the power to adopt or correct the values of assets of an entity included in the calculation of a distributable surplus. This includes adopting market values for assets reflected on and off the balance sheet. Generally, this may occur when there has been a deliberate, significant understatement of the value of assets, with a view to avoiding the operation of Division 7A.  Examples of where the market value may be substituted by the Commissioner include:

  • where shareholders/directors have been able to increase their ability to borrow from the equity in the company due to internally generated goodwill; or,
  • where shareholders/directors have been able to leverage off a property owned by the company that has had significant capital growth.

It is therefore important to always consider the market value of the assets on your balance sheet when determining whether there is a distributable surplus and potential exposure to a Division 7A deemed dividend.

An Important Message

While every effort has been made to provide valuable, useful information in this publication, this firm and any related suppliers or associated companies accept no responsibility or any form of liability from reliance upon or use of its contents.  Any suggestions should be considered carefully within your own particular circumstances, as they are intended as general information only.

Sign up to get access to Vincents Insights