Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will rake in almost $100 million per year in potentially tax-free income from the company's newly instated stock dividend program.

Microsoft announced Thursday that it plans to issue its first-ever annual dividend to shareholders on March 7. The payout will be 16 cents for each share on record as of Feb. 21.

Based on Microsoft's latest proxy statement, filed Sept. 19, 2002, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gates has about 621 million shares, or 11.6 percent of the company. That would give him a dividend bonanza of $99.48 million.

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