Dividends are a way for companies to distribute a portion of their profits to their shareholders. There are several different types of dividends that companies may issue, each of which has its own characteristics and tax implications.

Cash dividends are the most common type of dividend, and they are paid out to shareholders in the form of a cash payment. This payment is typically made on a regular basis, such as quarterly or annually, and is based on the number of shares that the shareholder owns.

Stock dividends, also known as a “scrip dividend,” are dividends that are paid in the form of additional shares of stock rather than cash. These dividends may be issued in lieu of a cash dividend or in addition to a cash dividend.

Property dividends are dividends that are paid in the form of assets other than cash or stock. This could include assets such as real estate or equipment.

Finally, there are also special dividends, which are one-time dividends that are paid to shareholders in addition to the company’s regular dividend payments. Special dividends are typically paid out of the company’s surplus or reserve funds and are not part of the company’s regular dividend policy.

It is important for investors to understand the different types of dividends and their tax implications, as dividends are taxed differently depending on the type and the individual investor’s tax situation. For example, cash dividends are taxed as ordinary income, while stock dividends may be taxed as capital gains. Investors should consult with a tax professional or financial advisor to determine the tax implications of any dividends they receive.


Melanie is an associate professor of accounting at a local community college and is passionate about teaching accounting and finance to students and professionals. She is a thought leader in the accounting field and has over 50 articles published in a variety of accounting journals and magazines. Melanie's work has been cited by the U.S. Congress as well as other influential organizations including the AICPA, FASB, and the SEC.