Wall Street Looking to Duck Tax Hikes With Early Bonuses

Wary of the possible expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, the heads of some Wall Street firms are trying to shovel some money into their employees’ pockets before Uncle Sam or other governments can take a bigger bite, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Credit Suisse, for example, told its London managing directors last week that they’d be getting an unusual midyear payment to make up for a one-time bonus tax imposed by the United Kingdom last year. Sadly for those London Credit Suisse, they’ll have to keep their mitts off the money until 2012 at the earliest as the company adjusts payments according to performance.

Many firms are considering similar measures, the Journal reports. New employees are asking for their signing bonuses ahead of possible tax increases. Eager to keep their traders happy, many firms have in the past snuck bonuses in before the tax collectors came knocking. Still, there’s a chance things could be a little different this time around: “[B]ig banks that accepted government assistance during the crisis will be reluctant to move bonuses to cut employees’ tax bills.”

It seems that there’s at least some fear among Wall Streeters that taxpayers haven’t yet forgotten the enormous bill they footed a few years ago. It remains to be seen who among them is tone-deaf enough to try to help its talent escape the IRS.

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