Investors in Eaton Vance Corp.'s tax-exempt mutual funds will begin seeing lower dividends in December as the result of a new Internal Revenue Service ruling, a company executive said yesterday.

The IRS on Nov. 4 issued Revenue Ruling 94-70, which requires that mutual fund companies deduct their sales and marketing fees from income, rather than from principal. The ruling affects the way Eaton Vance and a few other mutual fund companies calculate 12b-1 fees, and is expected to result in a reduction in shareholders' dividends.

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