Goldman’s UK tax bill tops £2bn

THE UK treasury made more than £2.29bn from Goldman Sachs last year, City A.M. can reveal.

Goldman does not publish a break-down of tax costs by region, but it is understood that the amount represents a 14.5 per cent rise in its tax costs compared to 2009, despite a 35 per cent fall in global pre-tax profits.

The sum equates to 4.3 per cent of the £53bn paid in total UK taxes by the entire financial services industry.

The figure includes corporation tax, national insurance, VAT, income tax paid by employers on behalf of employees and the effect of the one-off bonus tax last year, which accounted for $465m (£290m) of the cost.

The tax bill suggests pay of £382,000 per head for its 6,000 London-based staff – far more than its 2010 average pay per global employee of £286,000. However, Goldman partners reduced their donations to charity in 2010, giving $320m (£200m) globally versus $500m (£312m) in 2009.

The revelation of the bank’s rising tax costs will raise further worries that the UK risks pricing itself out of the financial services market with increasingly punitive charges for banks that want to do business here.

Conservative MEP for London Syed Kamall said: “While it is tempting for politicians to ask banks to pay higher taxes after some were bailed out with taxpayers money, we need to think through the consequences of tinkering with taxation too much.”