How to Handle the Coming Dividend Tax

Posted by D4L | Sunday, April 01, 2012 | | 0 comments »

Unless Congress takes action, the top tax rate for the highest earners on most dividends, currently 15%, is set to jump to a whopping 43.4% next year. That is a maximum income-tax rate of 39.6% -- since dividends will once again be taxed as regular income -- plus a 3.8% tax on investment income as part of the health-care overhaul passed in 2009.

Dividend investors could protect themselves in the short term by placing options bets on a broad decline in dividend-paying shares, but that strategy is expensive. A better course for most is to seek a balance of income and growth stocks. In the income-stock portion, investors should favor those that promise to boost their dividend payments over those that merely have the largest "dividend yields," or payments as a percentage of their stock prices.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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