TD AMERITRADE (NASDAQ:AMTD) will disburse a special dividend later this month, the company announced in a press release. The discount brokerage will pay $0.50 per share on Dec. 31 to shareholders of record Dec. 21.

The company becomes the latest in a wave of firms paying special dividends this month. Many are doing so in anticipation of a significant rise in taxes on dividends starting next year if key aspects of the so-called "fiscal cliff" are not modified.

The moves also comes a little over one month after TD AMERITRADE raised its regular quarterly dividend by 50% to $0.09 per share.

The press release quoted CEO Fred Tomczyk as saying that "we have determined that an additional, one-time dividend is another good strategic and financial use of our capital at this time."