In the United States, a dividend eligible for capital gains tax rather than income tax. This is advantageous to the investor as capital gains are usually taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income. To become a "qualified" dividend, the security from which the dividend derives must be held for at least 61 days during a certain 121-day period (for common stock) or for at least 90 days during a corresponding 181-day period. Also, the corporation paying the dividend must either be American or at least have stock readily tradable in American securities markets. See also: Ordinary dividend.
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The dividends that meet Internal Revenue Service regulations for exclusion or partial exclusion from federal income taxation. For example, corporations are permitted to exclude a portion of all of the qualifying dividends received from stock owned in domestic corporations. There are no qualifying dividends for calculating individual income taxes.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.