What is a Dividend Voucher?

What is a Dividend Voucher?

A dividend voucher is a document that is issued to a shareholder when a dividend is paid. It shows the amount of dividend paid to the shareholder account, and the amount of withholding tax. Other names used are for example ‘proof of final distribution’ or ‘credit advice’.

A dividend voucher is usually issued by the financial intermediary that holds the dividend paying securities in a client’s safekeeping account. A dividend voucher can also be directly issued to register-shareholders.

Dividend vouchers are usually only issued at a client’s request.

Purpose of the dividend voucher

A dividend voucher typically functions as evidence towards the authorities that an amount of tax is withheld at the expense of the shareholder. A dividend vouchers has to be signed to prevent forgery.

Depending on the jurisdiction, there may be specific requirements for what needs to be reported on a dividend voucher. Switzerland for example has issued a circular that describes what the dividend vouchers should look like.

In some countries there are supplementary documents that together evidence the withholding of tax at the expense of the shareholder.

Some countries require that the dividend voucher is issued by the local institution that is involved with the tax collection. In France for instance, a so-called form 2777 is required when a reclaim is filed. In other jurisdictions the authorities accept dividend vouchers that are issued by foreign intermediaries.

To support that the withholding tax is an actual expense of the claimant and not someon else, other documents are sometimes required as well. Examples are securities transaction- and holding-reports or cash statement. These documents help the authorities to assess if the claimant is the beneficial owner of the dividend, or perhaps acts as a cashier of the dividend for the benefit of another party.

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