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Shareholder FAQs

Frequently asked questions

What are dividends?

Dividends are one way the company makes distributions from the company’s profits to shareholders.


What do the terms 'ex-dividend' and 'record date' mean?

Before announcing each dividend and in consultation with the London Stock Exchange, we set a date on which our shares will be sold without entitlement to the dividend. This is known as going 'ex-dividend'. Before that date they are said to be 'cum dividend'.

If you buy shares before the ex-dividend date you are entitled to receive the dividend recently announced. If you buy on or after that date, in the ex-dividend period, that dividend is payable to the previous owner.

The dividend is paid to shareholders based on the number of shares held on the share register at the deadline ('record date'). The record date is the day after the ex-dividend date for both ADS holders and ordinary shareholders. If you receive a dividend having recently sold your shares and are unsure whether you are entitled to it, contact the agent who acted on your behalf in the sale. Depending on the terms of the sale, the dividend may be due to the new owner.


How often will I receive a dividend?

bp expects to announce dividends four times a year. When the operating results are announced for each quarter, the bp directors decide the level of quarterly dividends to be paid to shareholders. ADS holders will receive their dividends in US Dollars. The amount and timing of dividends may be changed at any time without notice. Preference shareholder dividends are expected to be paid twice a year.


Details of the upcoming dividend payment dates can be found on our financial calendar.


Details of the current dividend payment timetable can be found on our dividends summary.


Can I choose how to receive my dividend payment?

Ordinary shareholders and ADS holders can choose to receive cash dividends or may be able to reinvest their dividend to receive further bp shares. Preference shareholders receive cash dividends. For more information on payment options see here


Where can I find out about dividend reinvestment (DRIP)?

For questions on DRIP please follow the links below:

For ordinary holders: www.mybpshares.com

For ADS holders: www.adr.com/bp


DRIP FAQs (pdf)

Where can I find out about the Scrip Dividend Programme?

BP p.l.c. announced the suspension of its Scrip Dividend Programme effective for the third quarter 2019 interim dividend and does not anticipate offering a scrip election for the foreseeable future.

What do I do if I have any questions about dividends or need help?

Please read the frequently asked questions and answers. If you have any additional queries or require further information please contact The bp Registrar, Link Asset Services (formerly Capita Asset Services):


Link Asset Services

Tel: 0800 701107 (freephone in UK)

Tel: +44 371 277 1014 (outside UK)


Do I have to pay tax on my dividends?

With effect from 6 April 2016, HMRC has abolished all tax credits, and with it, the need for tax vouchers.  Instead, a new 0% tax rate at source for dividend income has been introduced.  Please refer to a professional tax advisor if you have any doubt about how this change impacts your tax position.  More information can be found at the web address below.


In the UK, HMRC have introduced a new tax free dividend allowance.  This means that you won’t have to pay tax on the first £5,000 of your dividend income.  More information and examples are available at:  HM Revenue and Customs


When will I receive a dividend confirmation?

If you receive cash dividends directly into your bank account, you will be able to access your dividend confirmation online on the day on which the dividend is paid.  Go to the bp Share Centre and look under Forms and Documents.


If you require a paper dividend confirmation, contact the bp Registrar to arrange for an annual dividend confirmation to be sent to you in March each year.


If you are registered for eDelivery and have not received your notification emails, please contact the bp Registrar to ensure your email address is up to date.


If you receive cheques or participate in the Scrip Dividend Programme please allow 5 working days after the dividend payment date for the post to arrive before getting in touch with the registrar, Link Asset Services.


HM Revenue and Customs recommends that individuals retain tax vouchers for at least 22 months from the end of the tax year to which they relate, whilst self-employed individuals should retain tax vouchers for six years.


What happens to unclaimed dividends?

bp forfeits dividends which have not been claimed by shareholders for over 10 years. 


What if I have lost my share certificate, dividend cheque or tax voucher?

If your certificates are lost, stolen or destroyed, you should contact Link Asset Services as soon as you can. Link Asset Services will arrange for you to complete an indemnity covering the company for any loss arising from a dispute over who owns the shares and you may be charged for this if the value of the shares is over a certain limit. Once this is done, Link Asset Services will send you a duplicate certificate.


If you lose a dividend cheque you should contact Link Asset Services immediately, confirming which payment has been lost. They will then arrange for the cheque to be stopped and issue you with a duplicate free of charge. Dividend cheques are currently valid for one year from the date of payment.


If you have lost a tax voucher you should contact Link Asset Services.

What if I have lost my share certificate, dividend cheque or tax voucher?

Please read the frequently asked questions and answers. If you have any additional queries or require further information please contact JPMorgan Chase NA (JPMorgan):



Tel: 1-877-638-5672 (toll-free in the US and Canada)

Tel: 1-651-306-4383 (outside US and Canada)

Tel: 1-651-453-2133 (for the hearing impaired)


What happens if I lose my dividend check or tax form

You should notify JPMorgan Chase if you lose your dividend check. JPMorgan Chase will place a stop on your check and re-issue another one to you at no cost. You can contact JPMorgan Chase to request a copy of your most recent US tax form starting after January 31 for the previous tax year.


If you should have any questions specific to your 1099 tax form or pertaining to your bp shareholder account, please contact JPMorgan.


What do I do if I have lost contact with bp and haven’t received my dividend payments?

Please get in touch with JPMorgan and provide your up to date address details. JPMorgan Chase will be able to advise you on the process of reissuing any eligible  unclaimed dividends.


Will dividends paid on bp ADSs qualify as ‘qualified dividend income’ under the Jobs & Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 ('Act')?

In general, bp is a Qualified Foreign Corporation under the requirements of the Act, i.e. a corporation that is eligible for the benefits under a comprehensive income tax treaty with the US and whose stock is readily tradable on an established US securities market. However, there are certain exceptions which may impact specific ADS holder accounts. Because bp does not provide tax advice, we suggest you contact a qualified tax consultant to review your specific situation and the impact of the Act.


What is the current Treaty arrangement between the US and UK relating to the tax treatment of dividends?

The US and UK signed a Tax Treaty that entered into force on March 31, 2003. Under the new Tax Treaty, the previously deemed tax credit and offsetting withholding tax have been eliminated for dividends paid after May 1, 2003. In the case of shareholders who elected a one year phase-in period, the deemed tax credit and offsetting withholding tax continued to apply to dividends paid before May 1, 2004.


As a Canadian resident, how will I receive dividends?

During the course of 2008, bp voluntarily delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange due to extremely low activity volume and to streamline its share listing arrangements. One result of the change was to discontinue the provision of a separate Canadian transfer agent and cease Canadian dollar dividend payments, effective 2009. As a result, all of bp’s ADS dividends are paid in US dollars.


Do dividend fees apply?

With effect from and including the dividend paid in June 2015, ADS holders who receive a cash dividend are charged US$0.005 per bp ADS per quarter per cash distribution. For further information, please see FAQs