Ex-Date vs Record Date: What are the Key Differences?

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Do you want to know when and how to buy or sell stocks to get the maximum dividend payout? You can gain an advantage by understanding the impact of dividend announcements and ex-dividend date on stock prices. The record date, or dividend record date and the ex-date or ex-dividend date of stock are essential dates relating to stock purchases, reporting, and the dividend payout process. However, it is vital to understand that Ex-Date vs Record Date as, these are two crucial terms determining who gets the dividend and when.

Let us understand the concepts of ex-date and record-date in stock markets before we get into the key insights of the basics around ex-date vs record Date.

Ex-Date Meaning (Ex-Dividend Date)

The ex-date, ex-date in the dividend or ex-dividend date, signifies the date on or after which security starts trading without the right (of the investor) to receive the declared dividend. 

This means that investors who purchase the security on or after the ex-date shall not be eligible for the upcoming dividend payment. 

The stock exchange establishes the ex-date in coordination with the company issuing the dividend.

All the Basics Surrounding Ex-Date (Ex-Dividend Date)

Ex-date is like a cut-off day for getting a reward (dividend) from a company.

You can receive the upcoming dividend if you buy a stock before this day. 

But you won’t get the dividend if you buy it on or after this day.

Let’s understand the ex-date with this example.

Let’s say a company announces a dividend of Rs. 2 per share with an ex-date of January 15th.

  • If you buy the stock on January 14th or earlier, you can get the Rs. 2 dividend.
  • But if you buy it on or after January 15th, you miss out on the dividend this time.

Record Date Meaning

The record date is the specified date on which a company examines its list of shareholders to decide who is eligible to receive the declared dividend. 

Shareholders recorded on the company’s books as of the record date are qualified to receive the dividend, regardless of their acquisition date for the shares.

The company sets the record date and is crucial for identifying the individuals or entities eligible for dividend payments.

Basics Surrounding Dividend Record Date

The record date is when the company checks its list to see who should get the reward (dividend). 

If your name is on their list on or before this day, you’ll get the dividend.

Let us understand the record date with an example.

Following the previous example, let’s say the dividend record date is January 20th.

  • If you own the stock on or before January 20th, your name will be on the company’s list, and you’ll receive the dividend.
  • But if you buy the stock on January 21st or later, your name won’t be on the list for this dividend.

Interim Dividend 

An interim dividend is a payment made before a company’s annual general meeting and the release of final financial statements. 

  • It is a partial distribution of profits, usually declared in the middle of the fiscal year. 
  • The company’s board of directors declares the interim dividend, but the shareholders must approve. 
  • Companies use retained earnings to pay interim dividends, not current earnings.

Ex-Date vs Record Date

Let us look at all the aspects surrounding ex-date vs record date in the stock market trading.

If a company declares a dividend on March 3 with a record date of April 11, the ex-date would be April 8. 

An investor who buys the stock on or after April 8 will not receive the dividend, but an investor who buys the stock on or before April 7 will.

Ex-Date vs Record Date: Key Differences

Ex-Date vs Record Date: Key Differences
Ex-Date vs Record Date: Key Differences
Ex-DateRecord Date

The date when a stock trades without the benefit of the next scheduled dividend payment.
The date when the company checks its records to identify the shareholders eligible to receive the dividend.
Usually, one business day before the record dateUsually, one business day after the ex-date
Set by stock exchanges based on the T+2 rule for the two-day settlement of tradesSet by the company’s board of directors
A stock’s price usually drops by the amount of the declared dividend on the ex-dateA stock’s price is not affected by the record date

Key Differences: Record date and ex-dividend date.

Ex-Dividend Date vs Record Date: Factors to Consider When Trading Stocks Around Ex-Date and Record Date

Here are some things that you must know about ex-date vs record date when making investments:

  • The ex-date is usually one business day before the record date, and the stock exchanges set it based on the T+2 settlement cycle. 

The company’s board of directors sets the record date.

  • Investors who want to receive the dividend must buy the stock before the ex-date and hold it until the record date or later. 
  • Dividends can affect investors’ tax liability, depending on their holding period and the type of dividend (qualified or non-qualified). 

Ex-Date, Record Date, and Dividend Payment Date

  • The key dates in the dividend payout process are the ex-date, record date, and dividend payment date. 

The other date is the declaration date, which is the date on which the company announces the dividend.

  • The ex-date is the date the stock trades ex-dividend without the right to receive the dividend. 
  • The record date is when the company finalises the list of shareholders who will receive dividends. 
  • The dividend payment date is when the company distributes the dividend to the shareholders of record.

How Do You Check Dividend Ex-date and Record Date?

There are several ways to check a stock’s dividend ex-date and record date.

  • One way is to visit the company’s website and look for the investor relations section, where they may announce the dividend details.
  • Another way is to visit the websites of the online stock exchanges where the stock is listed, such as NSE or BSE, and look for the corporate actions section, where they may list the ex-date and record date for the dividends declared by the companies.


In summary, the ex-date is when you need to buy the stock to be eligible for the dividend, and the record date is when the company checks its list to see who gets the dividend. 

If you’re on the list and bought the stock before the ex-date, congratulations, you’ll receive the dividend in your pocket!

FAQs | Ex-Date vs Record Date

What is the ex-dividend date in the dividend?

The ex-dividend date is when a stock starts trading without including the value of its next dividend payment. If you buy the stock on or after this date, you won’t get the dividend.

Which is more important, ex-date or record date?

Both are crucial, but the ex-date matters more for investors aiming to receive the dividend. It marks the deadline for share ownership for dividend eligibility, while the record date finalises the list of eligible shareholders.

What is the difference between the ex-split date and the record date?

The ex-split date is when the stock trades at the adjusted price after a stock split, while the record date determines which shareholders get the additional split shares.

Is the interim dividend a debit or credit?

An interim dividend is a debit to retained earnings and a credit to dividends payable before the final financial results are released.


Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks; read all the related documents carefully before investing.