Gabelli Equity Trust Reaffirms Its 10% Distribution Policy and Declares First Quarter Distribution of $0.14 Per Share
RYE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Board of Directors of The Gabelli Equity Trust Inc. (NYS: GAB) (the "Fund") reaffirmed its 10% distribution policy and declared a $0.14 per share cash distribution payable on March 21, 2013 to common stock shareholders of record on March 14, 2013.
The Fund intends to pay a quarterly distribution of an amount determined each quarter by the Board of Directors. Under the Fund's current distribution policy, the Fund intends to pay a minimum annual distribution of 10% of the average net asset value of the Fund within a calendar year or an amount sufficient to satisfy the minimum distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, whichever is greater. The average net asset value of the Fund is based on the average net asset values as of the last day of the four preceding calendar quarters during the year. Pursuant to this policy, the Fund paid total distributions of $0.56 per share in 2012.
Each quarter, the Board of Directors reviews the amount of any potential distribution from the income, capital gain, or capital available. The Board of Directors will continue to monitor the Fund's distribution level, taking into consideration the Fund's net asset value and the financial market environment. The Fund's distribution policy is subject to modification by the Board of Directors at any time. The distribution rate should not be considered the dividend yield or total return on an investment in the Fund.
All or part of the distribution may be treated as long-term capital gain or qualified dividend income (or a combination of both) for individuals, each subject to the maximum federal income tax rate, which is currently 20% in taxable accounts for individuals. In addition, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2013, certain U.S. shareholders who are individuals, estates or trusts and whose income exceeds certain thresholds will be required to pay a 3.8% Medicare tax on their "net investment income", which includes dividends received from the Fund and capital gains from the sale or other disposition of shares of the Fund.
If the Fund does not generate sufficient earnings (dividends and interest income and realized net capital gain) equal to or in excess of the aggregate distributions paid by the Fund in a given year, then the amount distributed in excess of the Fund's earnings would be deemed a return of capital. Since this would be considered a return of a portion of a shareholder's original investment, it is generally not taxable and is treated as a reduction in the shareholder's cost basis. Under federal tax regulations, some or all of the return of capital distributed by the Fund may be taxable as ordinary income in certain circumstances. This may occur when the Fund has a capital loss carry forward, net capital gains are realized in a fiscal year, and distributions are made in excess of investment company taxable income.
Long-term capital gains, qualified dividend income, ordinary income, and paid-in capital, if any, will be allocated on a pro-rata basis to all distributions to common shareholders for the year. Based on the accounting records of the Fund as of February 13, 2013, the current distribution to common shareholders would include approximately 8% from net capital gains and 92% from paid-in capital on a book basis. The estimated components of each distribution are updated and provided to shareholders of record in a notice accompanying the distribution and are available on our website (www.gabelli.com). The final determination of the sources of all distributions in 2013 will be made after year end and can vary from the quarterly estimates. All shareholders with taxable accounts will receive written notification regarding the components and tax treatment for all 2013 distributions in early 2014 via Form 1099-DIV.
The Gabelli Equity Trust Inc. is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company with $1.5 billion in total net assets whose primary investment objective is long-term growth of capital. The Fund is managed by Gabelli Funds, LLC, a subsidiary of GAMCO Investors, Inc. (NYS: GBL) , which is a publicly traded NYSE listed company.
The Gabelli Equity Trust Inc.
Molly Marion / Carter Austin
KEYWORDS: United States North America New York
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