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How Does Interactive Brokers Pay Dividends?

How Does Interactive Brokers Pay Dividends?

Interactive Brokers’ process of paying dividends is fairly straightforward. However, if you have any dividend pay challenges or queries, you may have to deal with their not-so-user-friendly interface and not-so-great client service. 

Interactive Brokers announced a dividend payment date. They then make an accrual entry into your account which is indicative of the cash dividend owed to you. This entry is made on the ex-dividend date or shortly after. Once Interactive Brokers receives the funds for the stock, they reverse the accrual on your account and deposit the cash to your cash balance. Usually, this will be done on the announced dividend payment date.

In some instances, your accrued dividend may be reduced or canceled altogether. In this article, I’ll show you other factors that may slightly alter the process and amount of dividend payments and how to keep track of the transactions.

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Factors that may affect your dividend payout 

1. In the case of a special dividend that is greater than 25% of the dividend stock price, the dates change so that the ex-dividend date, usually before, will be set after the record and pay date.

2. Tax obligations may vary depending on which stock you invested in. 

US citizens who invest in a foreign country’s stock may be subjected to the tax laws of the country where the stock is held.

For non-US people, dividend pay and dividend equivalent payments on US equities are subject to taxes. Interactive Brokers, therefore, acts as an agent for the IRS and withholds this tax. Dividend pay on some derivatives is also subject to this taxation as well, depending on various conditions listed on the Interactive Broker website.

The tax obligation will obviously be reflected on your statement and reduce your dividend pay accordingly.

3. Margin Account

When transacting a margin account, your dividends may be paid out as cash in lieu. If your shares are on loan at the time when the dividend is paid, Interactive Brokers will receive the dividend because they temporarily own the shares. In this case, the dividends will then be paid out to you in cash instead.

Where your account is set for reinvestment, and your margin account is in deficit, your dividend will not be reinvested.

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How do I check my dividend statement on Interactive Brokers

On the Interactive Brokers website, go to the Log-in menu, select account management, and check your activity statement.

You can also view your statement from the tax forms by selecting Activity/Reports, Tax, followed by Tax forms.

Where dividends have been accrued but not yet paid out, you can check your statement by selecting Legacy full from the statement options. Here you’ll see the balance in the “Open Dividend Accruals” section.

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Can You Reinvest Your Dividend?

The option to reinvest your dividends is open only to US, Canada, and UK clients. You activate this by enabling automatic Dividend Reinvestment in your settings. You can’t, however, choose which stocks to reinvest in. When you select this option, all your dividends will automatically be reinvested.

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Dividends paid at Interactive Broker are complicated by the diversity of its products and the tax obligations that come with investing in different countries. To avoid any surprises, always do your research on the various aspects of the stock you have invested in.

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