Division 7A Loans to Shareholders and Their Associates


If the phrase “division 7A loans” sends a chill down your spine, you’re not alone. Navigating through the Australian Tax Office requirements can be tricky, especially when division 7A loans come into the picture. Are you unsure if you’re on the right track? Concerned about making inadvertent errors? We’ve been there and have assisted countless businesses like yours. Let’s simplify division 7A loans for you.

Demystifying Division 7A Loans

At its core, Division 7A loans refer to payments or benefits provided by private companies to their shareholders or associates. Sounds straightforward? It’s a bit more intricate than that. These benefits can be viewed as unfranked dividends if not structured correctly, leading to unwanted tax complications.

Why Does It Matter?

For small and medium-sized businesses, it’s vital to ensure that transactions between the company and its shareholders or associates are above board. A misstep? It could mean hefty tax implications, unexpected interest payments, and stringent penalties.

Common Mistakes & Their Avoidance

  1. Skimping on Paperwork: Always document any transaction between the company and a shareholder or associate. A formal written agreement detailing the loan’s terms can save you future headaches.
  2. Forgetting Minimum Repayments: Each financial year, certain minimum repayments must be made. Fail to do so, and the loan might transform into a deemed unfranked dividend.
  3. Unintentional Misuse of Funds: It’s not uncommon for business owners to occasionally use company funds for personal expenses. Such actions, even if inadvertent, might be seen as division 7A loans.

The Franked Dividend Strategy

Here’s a strategy that might pique your interest: Declaring a Franked Dividend.

Suppose your company has provided you (or an associate) with a benefit that’s converted to a Division 7A loan. In subsequent years, instead of making loan repayments directly to the company, the company can declare a franked dividend to the shareholder.

What’s the catch? The amount of the dividend should equal or exceed the minimum yearly repayment. By doing so, this dividend can be used to offset the loan balance. While this approach can streamline repayments, it’s essential to understand the intricacies involved, particularly around franking credits and associated tax implications for the recipient.


  1. How can I rectify a Division 7A breach? Act swiftly if you believe there’s been a breach. This might involve creating a formal loan agreement, making sure minimum repayments are met, or fully repaying the loan.
  2. What’s a deemed dividend? When the ATO determines a benefit provided by a company to a shareholder (or associate) as falling under Division 7A but isn’t processed as a complying loan, it’s termed a ‘deemed unfranked dividend’, which then becomes taxable.

Why Division 7A Loans are a Big Deal

Overlooking division 7A loans can spell trouble for your company’s finances. These can have rippling effects, from affecting cash flow to bumping up tax obligations. By being proactive and staying informed, you can ensure that your business stays compliant and clear.

Next Steps

At Impala Accountants, we specialise in unravelling complex financial knots. Unsure about division 7A loans? We’re here to guide you. Eager to ensure your business remains on the straight and narrow? Book an appointment online or dial 0755361960. Seeking clarity and ensuring compliance has never been simpler.

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