Washington Post Company Speeding Up its Dividend Payments

What do you call it when at a media com­pany where its largest newspaper’s edi­to­r­ial page is call­ing for tax increases on cor­po­rate gains while at the same time, it pays out its div­i­dend before said taxes increase?

Oh yes…it’s called hypocrisy.

The Wash­ing­ton Post Co. will pay its 2013 div­i­dends before the end of this year to try to spare investors from antic­i­pated tax increases.

The media and edu­ca­tion com­pany said Fri­day that its div­i­dend of $9.80 per share is payable Dec. 27 to share­hold­ers of record as of Dec. 17. The pay­out is instead of reg­u­lar quar­terly div­i­dends next year.

Wash­ing­ton Post is the lat­est com­pany to move up its quar­terly pay­out or issue a spe­cial end-of-year pay­ment to pro­tect investors from poten­tially hav­ing to pay higher taxes on div­i­dend income start­ing in January.

Since 2003 investors have paid a max­i­mum 15 per­cent on div­i­dend income. But that his­tor­i­cally low rate will expire in Jan­u­ary unless Con­gress and Pres­i­dent Barack Obama reach a com­pro­mise on taxes and gov­ern­ment spend­ing. As it stands, div­i­dends will be taxed as ordi­nary income in 2013, the same as wages, so rates will go up depend­ing on which income bracket a tax­payer is in. For the high­est earn­ers, the div­i­dend rate would jump to 43.4 percent.

Not once in any state­ment from the Pres­i­dent or any­one else at the White House dur­ing the fis­cal cliff talks has the con­cept of spar­ing the increase in div­i­dend taxes.

Oh by the way, one of the largest peo­ple set to ben­e­fit from this move is the head of Berk­shire Hath­away, since the com­pany owns tons of WaPo stock.  We know him bet­ter as War­ren Buffet.

Believe our new junior sen­a­tor has a rule named after him.

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