Goldman President may get tax benefit if he unloads $216 million firm stake

Gary Cohn interview pic

Gary Cohn owns about 902,000 Goldman shares, which he may decide to sell to avoid a conflict of interest.

A Goldman Sachs executive who could take a key economic post in Donald Trump's administration may get tax help if he unloads his stake in the company to avoid conflicts of interest.

Gary Cohn, Goldman's 56-year-old president and chief operating officer, has been offered the directorship of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy, sources close to him told NBC News. It is unclear if Cohn will accept the post, but he reportedly had discussions late last month about leaving Goldman.

The National Economic Council is part of the executive branch. Under a federal provision, executive branch members who sell stock to avoid a conflict of interest can defer paying capital gains tax and put the proceeds into more diversified investments, according to Internal Revenue Code.

Cohn owns about 902,000 Goldman shares, according to FactSet, which he may decide to sell to avoid a conflict of interest. He may be able to defer the tax until later if he unloads the stock.

His shares were worth about $240 each on Friday, or $216.5 million.

Goldman shares have soared nearly 32 percent since Trump's election, partly on a reaction to his proposals to roll back financial regulations.

Goldman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether Cohn would sell his stake in the company if he accepts the position.

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