We have elected to be treated as a regulated investment company, or RIC, under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code. To maintain our status as a RIC, we must distribute annually to our stockholders at least 90% of our investment company taxable income; and to avoid an excise tax imposed on RICs, we must distribute annually to our stockholders at least 98% of our ordinary income and 98.2% of our net capital gains. As part of our strategic tax planning, from time to time we are able to reduce our investment company taxable income by losses taken on ordinary assets, thus minimizing the amount of taxable income to be reported by our shareholders. Tax characteristics of all dividends are reported to stockholders on Form 1099 after the end of the calendar year. We have made, and intend to continue to make, timely distributions sufficient to satisfy the annual distribution requirements to maintain our qualification as a RIC. We also intend to make distributions of net realized capital gains, if any, at least annually. We may, at our discretion, carry forward taxable income in excess of calendar year distributions and pay a 4% excise tax on this income. We will accrue excise tax on estimated undistributed taxable income as required. There was no undistributed taxable income carried forward from 2012.
For more information on our dividends, please refer to the Section 19 Notice that will be posted to BlackRock Kelso Capital’s website within the Distribution History section of the Investor Relations page ( http://www.blackrockkelso.com/InvestorRelations/DistributionHistory/index.htm).
Dividend Reinvestment Plan
We maintain an “opt out” dividend reinvestment plan for our common stockholders. As a result, if we declare a dividend, stockholders’ cash dividends will be automatically reinvested in additional shares of our common stock, unless they specifically “opt out” of the dividend reinvestment plan so as to receive cash dividends. With respect to our dividends paid to stockholders for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 and 2012, dividends reinvested pursuant to our dividend reinvestment plan totaled $3.9 million and $4.3 million, respectively.