Goldman may delay UK bonuses until top tax rate falls

Goldman Sachs Group Inc is considering delaying bonus payments in the U.K. until after April 6, when the top rate of income tax in the country will drop to 45 percent, from 50 percent, a person familiar with the bank's operations said on Sunday.

The strategy relates to bonuses that were deferred from 2009, 2010 and 2011, the person said. The Financial Times reported the news earlier today.

Goldman recently brought forward payments of deferred stock to executives in the U.S. to 2012, in order to beat tax hikes implemented for top earners in 2013.

The investment bank made the payments weeks earlier than usual, disclosing about $65 million of stock awards to 10 executives including Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein in filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on the last day of December.

About 24 hours after the grants, the U.S. Congress agreed to raise the top tax rate for individuals with more than $400,000 in taxable income to 39.6 percent in 2013 from 35 percent last year, and to raise capital gains taxes.

(Reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Diane Craft)