(Corrects that blog post referred to in paragraph 8 was not
By Laurence Fletcher and Sinead Cruise
LONDON Jan 28 British broker Tullett Prebon
has offered some senior executives the opportunity to
delay receiving bonuses until April to take advantage of a cut
in income tax for top earners, a source inside the company told
Such an offer would not be unlawful, but could be
controversial at a time British politicians and voters are
focused on the tax affairs of wealthy individuals and big
The offer had been made to a small number of executives and
top brokers but it had not been circulated widely to staff, the
source said. It would mean that bonuses were taxed at a rate of
45 percent rather than 50 percent for any income above 150,000
Tullett Prebon did not respond to multiple requests for
comment via phone, email and text message.
Earlier this month, investment bank Goldman Sachs
scrapped plans to delay staff bonuses until April 6, when the
new tax year starts, following criticism of the idea from Bank
of England governor Mervyn King.
How much the richest pay in tax has come under great
scrutiny as Britain struggles to cut its deficit and revive its
economy after the credit crisis.
Tullett Prebon is run by chief executive Terry Smith, one of
the best-known figures in London's City financial district.
Last month, he reposted a blog by a colleague including the
sentence "many big companies, British as well as foreign-owned,
seem to regard the payment of corporation tax as an optional
Smith, who also heads fund management firm Fundsmith, said
the blog post by Tim Morgan "deserves wider circulation" without
making further comment.
Smith did not respond to requests for comment via email and
phone on the Reuters story of the possible delay to bonuses.
According to Tullett's latest annual report, Smith received
a bonus of 3.38 million pounds for 2011, split equally between
cash and money that had to be invested in Tullett's shares. That
was on top of a salary of 650,000 pounds.
If the same bonus were taxed in full at 45 percent rather
than 50 percent, the amount saved could be 169,000 pounds.
Earlier this month, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King
said he found it "a bit depressing" that the highest earners
should try to adjust the timing of bonuses to pay less tax at a
time the rest of the country was suffering the consequences of
the global financial crisis.
($1 = 0.6327 pound)
(Editing by Matthew Tostevin)