Cull v Commissioners of Inland Revenue: HL 1940

Lord Atkin said: ‘My Lords, it is now clearly established that in the case of a limited company the company itself is chargeable to tax on its profits, and that it pays tax in discharge of its own liability and not as agent for its shareholders. The latter are not chargeable with income tax on dividends, and they are not assessed in respect of them. The reason presumably is that the amount which is available to be distributed as dividend has already been diminished by tax on the company, and that it is thought inequitable to charge it again.’
Lord Wright said: ‘the shareholder is not taxed under Schedule D in respect of that part of his income which consists of dividends. The profits have been charged to tax in the hands of the company and that fact is deemed to redound to his benefit.’


Lord Atkin, Lord Wright


[1940] AC 51


England and Wales

Income Tax, Corporation Tax

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.573166