My broker advises me that to benefit from special 15% tax rate one must hold the security for 61 days around the div payment date and if one has held it for over 30 days one need to hold stock until Jan 24th to benefit.
Your broker is correct. You must own the stock at the close of business on the 21st, which is a Friday. That's why the ex-div date is the 24th--it's the next market day in this case due to the over 25% rule. Then you own the shares, get the cash, and can buy more shares at the lower price if you want to.
You must keep the stock through the X-date to benefit, also to benefit for the tax rules of 2012, rule of thumb is to get paid before 2013, which is automatic with the way the special dividend is being paid for tlab.......The X is after the pay date in tlab, you must keep tlab through the 24th.
MGM: Why not you buy all the shares at lower price instead of buying additional shares with divident money. You may be able to buy more shares with your own money and not to share your many with tax man. On one hand you may be sharing and on the other hand you may be losing more than the dividend. I do not say you do not share, it is good to share when you make money but it hurts to share when you lose money. These type of stocks lose more than the give outs.
Example SCMR, AGNC, MRVC, etc etc.