Trump's tax changes to blow a $5bn hole in Goldman Sachs profits

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Goldman Sachs has said Donald Trump’s radical US tax changes will knock about $5bn (£3.7bn) off its profits this year.

The investment bank said most of the cost would come from Trump’s “repatriation tax” designed to encourage multinationals to bring back the trillions of dollars they hold overseas to avoid tax.

Goldman, which made profits of $7.4bn last year, said: “The enactment of the tax legislation will result in a reduction of approximately $5bn in the firm’s earnings for the fourth quarter and year ending 31 December 2017, approximately two-thirds of which is due to the repatriation tax.

“The remainder includes the effects of the implementation of the territorial tax system and the remeasurement of US deferred tax assets at lower enacted corporate tax rates,” the bank said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

Last week Congress approved the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years, which includes big tax cuts for companies and wealthy people. The reduction in corporation tax – from 35% to 21% – is designed in part to encourage multinational to repatriate cash from overseas.

US companies were estimated, by Citigroup, to hold $2.5tn of capital overseas. Companies had previously explained that they had a duty to shareholders to keep the money abroad, rather than bring it back to the US and pay large tax bills.

The tax overhaul will allow Apple to bring back its $252.3bn foreign cash mountain without a major tax hit. The huge amount of untaxed profits Apple holds overseas has become a major political football and a headache for the world’s most valuable company. Drugmaker Amgen said last week that it expected to pay $6bn to $6.5bn repatriating its cash to the US.

Goldman said the rest of the $5bn knock to its profits would come from the cost of implementation of the territorial tax system, and tax changes that will make it harder for companies to deduct past losses from future tax bills. Barclays said this week the change to “deferred tax assets” and would cost it about £1bn.

The tax changes were overseen by the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who declared the bill to be “great for hardworking workers”. Mnuchin worked at Goldman for 17 years until 2002.

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rupert Neate, for The Guardian on Friday 29th December 2017 13.52 Europe/London

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