Accounting: How to Report a Stock Dividend Received

by Brian Huber ; Updated July 27, 2017

Items you will need

  • Number of shares owned prior to receiving stock dividend
  • Number of shares received as stock dividend
  • Original cost of shares owned prior to receiving stock dividend

Stock dividends occur when a corporation of distributes additional stock existing shareholders. No tax reporting is required when a stock dividend is received as long as distributions are common stock only to every recipient, not cash or preferred stock. Accounting for future gain or loss from selling shares received as a stock dividend requires knowing the basis for the stock dividends. The basis of non-taxable stock dividends is determined by allocating part of your cost in originally owned shares.

Step 1

Add your originally owned number of shares and the number of shares received as non-taxable stock dividend. This is the total number of shares held after the stock dividend.

Step 2

Divide your cost of the original shares owned by the total number of shares held after the stock dividend. This is your accounting of the new basis per share.

Step 3

Multiply the new basis per share by the number of shares when reporting a sale of any stock, regardless of selling originally held shares or stock dividends. This results in accounting for the basis of both stock dividends and original shares.


  • If you inherited the original stock shares, your basis is normally the value on the date of death for the person who bequeathed it.

    The basis of taxable stock dividends is the fair market value of the shares on the date received. Stock dividends are taxable if you or any other shareholder received cash or preferred stock while others received common stock.

About the Author

Brian Huber has been a writer since 1981, primarily composing literature for businesses that convey information to customers, shareholders and lenders. Huber has written about various financial, accounting and tax matters and his published articles have appeared on various websites. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Texas at Austin.