How Costco is planning for the expected tax increase …

Posted By on November 30, 2012

bidencostcoPlaying the tax game as a big business or 1%-er investor must be a challenging problem to have? [sarcasm]

Here’s a Wall Street Journal op-ed commenting on Costco’s recent “early” dividend announcement. Uncertainly in the tax code, along with the credits, deductions and complexity, slows economic growth, deters job creation and demonstrates that the more involved government gets in our lives, the more challenging it is for small businesses and individuals.

The giant retailer announced Wednesday that the company will pay a special dividend of $7 a share this month. That’s a $3 billion Christmas gift for shareholders that will let them be taxed at the current dividend rate of 15%, rather than next year’s rate of up to 43.4%—an increase to 39.6% as the Bush-era rates expire plus another 3.8% from the new ObamaCare surcharge.

More striking is that Costco also announced that it will borrow $3.5 billion to finance the special payout. Dividends are typically paid out of earnings, either current or accumulated. But so eager are the Costco executives to get out ahead of the tax man that they’re taking on debt to do so.

WSJ

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Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.