Running your own business or contracting through your company offers numerous rewards, but there’s a crucial aspect to consider: the smart way to access your company’s funds. If your business is structured as a Pty Ltd, it’s like a separate entity in the eyes of the law, and its money isn’t automatically your personal cash.
You’ve worked diligently, and it’s only natural to want to enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, there’s a potential hurdle known as Division 7A, a tax office rule designed to ensure your company’s earnings are appropriately taxed and not treated as your personal income.

Failure to follow these rules can lead to unexpectedly high tax bills. For instance, withdrawing $500,000 for personal use could result in as much as $360,000 in taxes, leaving you with far less than expected.

But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you in making smart decisions on accessing your company’s funds. Our aim is to help you find practical ways to withdraw money without falling into the Division 7A trap. Ready to keep more of your hard-earned money? Let’s begin

Six Ways to Access Your Company Funds and Avoid DIV7A Issue

Paying Salary to Director

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Our team of DIV7A specialists is here to provide you with personalized solutions. Start by completing the Division 7A Loan Assessment Form, and we'll evaluate your situation promptly. Your financial success is our priority.

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Wondering how to withdraw money from your company while maximizing benefits and minimizing costs? It all starts with effective tax planning.

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Frequently asked questions

What are Div7A issues?

Div7A is a complex section of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. It aims to prevent private companies from unfairly distributing profits or assets to shareholders or associated entities without paying appropriate taxes. This can happen through various means like loans, repayments, and payments disguised as expenses. 

What is the difference between paying the director’s salary and the director’s fees? 

  • Director’s salary: A regular income paid to a director for their time and effort spent managing the company. Salary is subject to PAYG withholding tax and reportable on the individual tax return. 
  • Director’s fees: Paid for specific tasks or services performed by the director outside their regular duties. Fees are subject to PAYG withholding tax and income tax. 
I believe I lent money to my company when it started, but it's not on the balance sheet. What should I do?

This is a common issue, and it’s crucial to address it promptly to ensure your financial records are accurate and comply with Div7A regulations. At our accounting firm, we specialize in helping businesses like yours reconstruct historical financial records and rectify past discrepancies. 

Here’s how we can assist you: 

  1. Review and Analyze: Our team of experienced accountants will meticulously review your existing financial records and identify any missing information regarding the loan you believe you provided. We’ll also analyze the company’s formation documents and any available bank statements to gather evidence of the loan.
  2. Determine the Best Course of Action: Depending on the age of the company and the availability of supporting documentation, we can take different approaches to rectifying the situation. This might involve:
  • Adjusting the balance sheet: If sufficient evidence exists, we can adjust the historical financial records to reflect the loan accurately. 
  • Reclassifying existing transactions: We can analyze past transactions and reclassify them to properly account for the loan and any related interest payments. 
  • Documenting the loan agreement: If no formal loan agreement exists, we can assist you in arranging a lawyer to draft a document outlining the terms and conditions of the loan. 

Benefits of Addressing This Issue: 

  • Compliance with Div7A: Proper documentation of the loan ensures compliance with Div7A regulations and avoids potential tax penalties. 
  • Accurate Financial Reporting: Having accurate historical records provides a clearer picture of your company’s financial health and facilitates better decision-making. 
  • Tax Benefits: Correctly recording the loan can help you claim legitimate tax deductions on interest payments and other associated expenses. 
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your financial records are accurate and compliant provides peace of mind and reduces the risk of future problems. 

Don’t wait to address this important issue. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss how our experts can help you reconstruct your historical financial records and ensure your company’s accounts are accurate and compliant. 

What is a Complying Div7A Loan Agreement?

A Complying Div7A Loan Agreement is your essential document for ensuring compliance with complex Div7A regulations when borrowing from your private company. It prevents potential tax penalties and protects your financial interests. 

Key features: 

  • Written Agreement: Established before the company’s tax return deadline. 
  • Minimum Loan Term: 7 years (unsecured) or up to 25 years (secured by registered mortgage). 
  • Market-Rate Interest: Meets the Div7A benchmark rate. 
  • Minimum Annual Repayments: Demonstrates genuine repayment intention. 


  • Avoid Div7A issues: Ensures compliance and eliminates potential penalties. 
  • Protects the company: Offers legal documentation and safeguards financial interests. 
  • Ensures transparency: Maintains clear records of the loan and its terms. 
  • Provides peace of mind: Eliminates uncertainty and reduces risk. 

We can assist in arranging a complying Div7A Loan Agreement with a specialist lawyer, ensuring it’s prepared correctly the first time, saving you valuable time and resources. We offer comprehensive Div7A solutions for your financial well-being. 

Click here to learn more and simplify Div7A compliance today! 

Why pay back the withdrawal before the company tax return?

If you withdraw money from your company before the lodgement of the tax return, it may be treated as an unfranked dividend, leading to significant additional tax liabilities for you. Paying it back before the deadline helps ensure proper classification and avoid these penalties. 

If the company's shareholder is a family trust, who receives the franked dividend?

While the family trust initially receives the franked dividend, it doesn’t remain with the trust itself. Instead, the beneficiaries of the trust ultimately receive the franked dividend. The trust acts as a conduit, passing the dividend income through to its beneficiaries according to its terms and conditions. 

Here’s a breakdown of the process: 

  1. Company pays the franked dividend: The company issues the dividend to the family trust as its shareholder. 
  1. Trust declares the dividend income: The trust reports the dividend income on its tax return. 
  1. Trust distributes the dividend to beneficiaries: The trust distributes the dividend income to its beneficiaries, as stipulated in the trust deed. 

Therefore, while the family trust initially receives the franked dividend, it’s crucial to remember that the beneficiaries are the ultimate recipients. 

What is a franked dividend?

A franked dividend is a distribution of company profits to shareholders that has already been taxed at the corporate tax rate. This means shareholders receive a portion of the profit with the tax already paid, reducing their individual tax liability. 

How can I take money out of my company without it being treated as an unfranked dividend and triggering Div7A penalties?

Taking Money Out of Your Company with Minimal Div7A Impact: 

  1. Do Proper Tax Planning:

This is the single most important step, as it allows you to develop a customized strategy tailored to your specific situation. 

A qualified tax advisor can help you understand Div7A regulations, identify potential risks and opportunities, and choose the most tax-efficient methods for withdrawing funds. 

  1. Implement Compliant Loan Agreements:
  • Formalize all loans between the company and its shareholders/associates with written agreements. 
  • Ensure these agreements comply with Div7A regulations regarding loan terms (minimum 7 years unless secured) and market-rate interest. 
  • This demonstrates genuine loan intentions and avoids treatment as disguised dividends. 

  1. Maintain Meticulous Records:
  • Keep detailed and accurate records of all financial transactions, including loan agreements, repayments, interest payments, and distributions. 
  • This transparency provides evidence for your financial decisions and demonstrates compliance with Div7A regulations. 
  1. Plan Distributions Strategically:
  • Consider distributing profits as franked dividends rather than directly withdrawing funds. 
  • This ensures appropriate taxes are paid upfront and minimizes potential Div7A issues. 
  • Franked dividends also come with franking credits that can be used to offset future tax liabilities. 


  1. Explore Tax-Efficient Strategies:
  • Utilize options like salary packaging, superannuation contributions, and director’s fees, which may be more tax-efficient than direct withdrawals. 
  • Consult a tax advisor to determine the optimal strategy based on your specific circumstances. 


  1. Seek Professional Support:
  • Partner with a qualified accountant or tax advisor for personalized guidance. 
  • They can help you navigate the complexities of Div7A, ensure compliance, and maximize your financial well-being. 


  • Additional Tips: 
  • Understand Div7A regulations thoroughly to identify potential risks and opportunities. 
  • Stay updated on the latest Div7A changes to adapt your strategies accordingly. 
  • Proactive planning and professional support significantly reduce Div7A risks and maximize your financial well-being. 
  • By prioritizing tax planning and implementing these strategies with the support of qualified professionals, you can confidently withdraw funds from your company while minimizing Div7A implications and achieving your financial goals. 
What are the record-keeping requirements for Div7A compliance?

To comply with Div7A, maintain the following records: 

  • Record-keeping Requirements: 
  • To comply with Div7A, maintain the following records: 
  • Loan agreements for all loans to shareholders/associates 
  • Minutes of board meetings approving loan agreements and distributions 
  • Bank statements and other financial documents supporting transactions 
  • Loan repayment schedules and records of payments made 
  • Dividend payout records, including franking credits 

These records should be kept for a minimum of five years and be readily accessible for review by the ATO. 

What are the penalties for non-compliance with Div7A?

Minimizing Div7A Implications: 

Here are key strategies to minimize Div7A implications when withdrawing funds: 

Formalize loan agreements: Ensure proper documentation for all loans between the company and its shareholders/associates. These agreements should be written, signed, and comply with Div7A regulations regarding loan terms and interest rates. 

Maintain meticulous records: Keep detailed and accurate financial records of all transactions, including loan agreements, repayments, and interest payments. This transparency helps substantiate your financial decisions and demonstrate compliance with regulations. 

Plan distributions strategically: Consider distributing profits as franked dividends instead of withdrawing funds directly. This ensures appropriate taxes are paid upfront and minimizes potential Div7A issues. 

Seek professional advice: Consult with a qualified accountant or tax advisor to understand your specific situation and develop strategies for maximizing tax efficiency and complying with Div7A regulations. 

What are the penalties for non-compliance with Div7A?

Failure to comply with Div7A can result in significant penalties, including: 

  • Tax liabilities: Unfranked dividends treated as income for the recipient, leading to additional tax payments. 
  • Interest charges: Penalties for unpaid taxes and late payments. 
  • Loss of franking credits: Reduced tax benefits for franked dividends. 
  • Administrative penalties: Fines for non-compliance with record-keeping requirements. 


Please note that the information provided in this outline is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, tax, or accounting advice. The information may not be up to date, complete or correct and is subject to change. It’s not an official document from any government institution. Every business and financial situation may require additional or different information. It’s always recommended to seek advice from a qualified professional such as an accountant, tax professional, or lawyer for specific advice tailored to your business’s unique circumstances.