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The Companies Act, 1956

Title : The Companies Act, 1956

Year : 1956

Sec205    -    Dividend to be paid only out ofprofits.

    (1) No dividend shall be declared or paid by a company for any financial year except out of the profits of the company for that year arrived at after providing for depreciation in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) or out of the profits of the company for any previous financial year or years arrived at after providing for depreciation in accordance with those provisions and remaining undistributed or out of both or out of moneys provided by the Central Government or a State Government for the payment of dividend in pursuance of a guarantee given by that Government :

      Provided that:

        (a) if the company has not provided for depreciation for any previous financial year or years which falls or fall after the commencement of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1960 (65 of 1960) it shall, before declaring or paying dividend for any financial year provide for such depreciation out of the profits of that financial year or out of the profits of any other previous financial year or years ;

        (b) if the company has incurred any loss in any previous financial year or years, which falls or fall after the commencement of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1960 (65 of 1960) then, the amount of the loss or an amount which is equal to the amount provided for depreciation for that year or those years whichever is less, shall be set off against the profits of the company for the year for which dividend is proposed to be declared or paid or against the profits of the company for any previous financial year or years, arrived at in both cases after providing for deprecation in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) or against both;

        (c) the Central Government may, if it thinks necessary so to do in the public interest, allow any company to declare or pay dividend for any financial year out of the profits of the company for that year or any previous financial year or years without providing for depreciation:

      Provided further that it shall not be necessary for a company to provide for depreciation as aforesaid where dividend for any financial year is declared or paid out of the profits of any previous financial year or years which falls or fall before the commencement of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1960 (65 of 1960).

    (1A)  The Board of directors may declare interim dividend and the amount of dividend including interim dividend shall be deposited in a separate bank account within five days from the date of declaration of such dividend.

    (1B) The amount of dividend including interim dividend so deposited under sub-section (1A) shall be used for payment of interim dividend.

    (1C) The provisions contained in sections 205, 205A, 205C, 206, 206A and 207 shall, as far as may be, also apply to any interim dividend.

    (2) For the purpose of sub-section (1), depreciation shall be provided either:

      (a) to the extent specified in section 350; or

      (b) in respect of each item of depreciable asset, for such an amount as is arrived at by dividing ninety-five per cent of the original cost thereof to the company by the specified period in respect of such asset ; or

      (c) on any other basis approved by the Central Government which has the effect of writing off by the way of depreciation ninety-five per cent of the original cost to the company of each such depreciable asset on the expiry of the specified period; or

      (d) as regards any other depreciable asset for which no rate of depreciation has been laid down by this Act or any rules made thereunder, on such basis as may be approved by the Central Government by any general order published in the Official Gazette or by any special order in any particular case :

        Provided that where depreciation is provided for in the manner laid down in clause (b) or clause (c), then, in the event of the depreciable asset being sold, discarded, demolished or destroyed the written down value thereof at the end of the financial year in which the asset is sold, discarded, demolished or destroyed, shall be written off in accordance with the proviso to section 350.

    (2A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), on and from the commencement of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1974 (41 of 1974), no dividend shall be declared or paid by a company for any financial year out of the profits of the company for that year arrived at after providing for depreciation in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2), except after the transfer to the reserves of the company of such percentage of its profits for that year, not exceeding ten per cent, as may be prescribed:

      Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be deemed to prohibit the voluntary transfer by a company of a higher percentage of its profits to the reserves in accordance with such rules as may be made by the Central Government in this behalf.

    (2B) A company which fails to comply with the provisions of section 80A shall not, so long as such failure continues, declare any dividend on its equity shares.

    (3) No dividend shall be payable except in cash :

      Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be deemed to prohibit the capitalization of profits or reserves of a company for the purpose of issuing fully paid-up bonus shares or paying up any amount, for the time being unpaid, on any shares held by the members of the company.

    (4) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to affect in any manner the operation of Section 208.

    (5) For the purposes of this Section:

      (a) "specified period" in respect of any depreciable asset shall mean the number of years at the end of which at least ninety-five per cent of the original cost of that asset to the company will have been provided for by way of depreciation if depreciation were to be calculated in accordance with the provisions of Section 350;

      (b) any dividend payable in cash may be paid by cheque or warrant sent through the post directed to the registered address of the shareholder entitled to the payment of the dividend or in the case of joint shareholders, to the registered address of that one of the joint shareholders which is first named on the register of members, or to such person and to such address as the shareholders or the joint shareholders may in writing direct.


Last updated on May, 2015

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