ASX 200 investors, have you grabbed your share of the coming $34 billion dividend windfall?

ASX 200 investors can benefit from high yielding stocks that often come with franking credits.

Person with a handful of Australian dollar notes, symbolising dividends.

Image source: Getty Images

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S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) investors are set to receive a whopping $34 billion in dividends from Australia's top listed companies over the coming two months.

To clarify that staggering figure, that's $34,000,000,000! Or some $1,300 for every man, woman and child in Australia… if they were all equally invested in the share market.

"Dividends issued by S&P/ASX 200-listed companies total almost $1.7 billion in the coming week, a phenomenal $18.8 billion in the week starting March 25, and then a further $9 billion over the following three weeks," CommSec chief economist Craig James (quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald).

With many of those dividends coming with franking credits, most ASX 200 investors should be able to hold onto more of their slice of that multi-billion-dollar passive income splash come tax time.

That lack of double taxation is a rather unique benefit of the Aussie market. Most international markets, like in the United States, don't provide credits for the taxes a company has already paid on its profits.

ASX 200 investors face dividend dip

Despite the massive $34 billion dividend payout coming to ASX 200 investors, that figure is actually some 3% lower than the $35.1 billion in dividends paid over this same time in 2023.

That retrace came amid a drop in dividends from some of the biggest mining stocks. BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), for example, cut its interim dividend by almost 20% year on year to $1.10 per share.

Even so, BHP – the largest company listed on the ASX – still trades on a fully franked yield of 5.6%.

If you own BHP shares, you can expect to see that passive income payout just in time for Easter, on 28 March.

James noted that with increased competition for ASX 200 investor funds, companies were eager to maintain their dividend payments.

"Over time, Australian companies have had to compete with property markets to grab the attention of investors," James said (quoted by the SMH).

"But over the last year, there has been further competition from rising bank deposit rates, the solid performance of overseas equities and even alternative assets like Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC)."

Global dividends at record highs

Indeed, it's not just ASX 200 investors that are raking in some serious dividend income.

According to Janus Henderson, global dividends increased by 5.0% on an underlying basis over the full year of 2023 to a record high of US$1.66 trillion (AU$2.53 trillion).

And if you'd care to see that staggering dividend figure written out, it's $2,530,000,000,000!

Happy passive income hunting.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Bitcoin. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Bitcoin. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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