JPMorgan nearing UK tax settlement-FT

Fri Dec 7, 2012 8:36pm EST

Dec 7 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co and the UK government are close to a settlement in which the bank and its employees could pay about 500 million pounds ($801.03 million) in back taxes, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

According to the newspaper, these taxes were avoided through the use of an offshore trust for bonus payments.

The U.S. bank, which is in the final phase of shutting down the trust, has asked more than 2,000 of both its current and former employees to contribute to this settlement, according to the Financial Times.

Individuals who choose not to participate might have to pay higher taxes once the trust assets are liquidated, the newspaper reported.

Participants in the trust said JPMorgan had given them until Friday to voluntarily pay tax at a rate of their choosing in a "blind auction" that would be used to establish an average contribution rate, the Financial Times said.

This news comes a day after coffee chain Starbucks said it could pay about 20 million pounds in corporation tax in Britain, surrendering to widespread public criticism over allegations of tax avoidance.

JPMorgan was not immediately available for comment.

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