No it can’t.  A Company pays Corporation Tax on its profits before dividends are paid out.  Consequently, shareholders are treated as having already paid some tax on their dividends but they do have 7.5% dividend tax to pay (on dividends above £2,000) and shareholders who pay Higher Rate Tax will have 32.5% tax to pay on their dividends.

One big advantage of paying dividends is that, compared to salaries, you will save on National Insurance. For instance, a bonus paid through salary will suffer Employer’s NI of 13.8% (plus any PAYE and Employees NI due), while there is no NI to pay on a Dividend. This is a major reason for many Company owners choosing to pay themselves small salaries and then receive the bulk of their ‘pay’ as Dividends