Goldman Sachs mulls delay to bonuses for April tax changes

Kasmira Jefford
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GOLDMAN Sachs is among several banks considering whether to delay payment of bonuses to 6 April when the new 45p tax band announced in the Budget last year comes into effect.

A person familiar with the company told City A.M the delivery of shares covering 2009, 2010 and 2011 could take place from April but it has not made a decision yet on the matter. Goldman Sachs is expected to disclose payouts to staff shortly after this week’s results.

Several banks have been considering whether to defer bonuses from their traditional payout date in January, February and March until April when the 50p top rate of income tax will end.

The 50p rate was introduced by the last Labour government in 2010 on annual taxable incomes above £150,000.

However, many are believed to have decided against it amid growing concern that such a move could be seen as a tax avoidance tactic and tarnish their reputations.

Starbucks came under fire late last year after it emerged that over the past three years the coffee chain had paid little corporation tax in Britain despite telling investors that the local business was highly profitable.

Goldman Sachs’ plan to delay UK bonus payouts would come after the Financial Times last week revealed that the bank paid bonuses to staff in the US on 31 December, hours before Congress voted to raise taxes for those earning more than $400,000 a year as part of the fiscal cliff deal.

The bank is set to report its fourth quarter results this Wednesday, with earnings per share expected to have increased by 78.8 per cent from the same time last year, when it reported earnings of $1.84 (£1.14) per share. The bank is forecast to post full-year revenues of $32.58bn.