Tax Facts - Loans to Shareholders

Advances (or loans), including the forgiving of debts, made by a private company to a shareholder (or an associate of a shareholder) are automatically deemed to be dividends, unless they come within certain specified exclusions . The deemed dividend can only apply to the unpaid present entitlement to which the private company is entitled.

If the advances are converted to a loan before the due date of the company's income tax return, the advances will not be treated as a dividend. However, this loan must be written and have a maximum term and minimum interest rate .

There is also a requirement that the shareholder make minimum repayments on the loan. If the minimum repayments are not made, a deemed dividend will arise in relation to the shortfall.

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