In 2016-17 for most one man companies, the tax efficient salary will be £8,060 per year (£671.67 per month) as, at this level there is no National Insurance to pay. After paying this the tax efficient level of dividend to take you up to the 2016-17 higher rate tax threshold of £43,000 is £34,940 (£2,911 per month).

There are exceptions to the above if the company qualifies for employment allowance then it may be worthwhile paying a little extra salary. If you have other taxable income then this needs to be taken into account when calculating the maximum dividend.

You should be aware that dividend tax is payable in 2016-17. This is 7.5% on dividends over £5,000. In the above example this would be calculated as follows

Dividends £34,940, less those within the personal allowance (£2,940), less £5,000 allowance = £27,000

Dividends liable to Dividend tax £27,000 x 7.5% = £2,025 tax liability to be paid personally under self assessment (31 January 2018).

This is written before the budget announcements on 16 March 2016.