NEW YORK, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Goldman Sachs Group said it handed out shares to executives in December, dodging a tax hike in the process, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Journal reported Wednesday that Goldman Sachs distributed 508,104 shares worth $64.8 million a month ahead of its normal compensation schedule. The shares were part of compensation for 2011, not for 2012, the bank said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Congress approved a tax bill Tuesday that will raise federal income tax for individual income over $400,000 and couples' income over $450,000.
Goldman's SEC filing said 48 percent of the shares handed out were withheld for tax payments.
The filing listed 10 top executives who received the shares, but a bank spokesman said, "The December delivery of shares went to a wider group of employees than the named executive officers."
The bank's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein posted a message on Twitter Wednesday saying the new tax agreement in Washington, "is a step forward to injecting growth and investor confidence in the U.S. Economy.
Blankfein was awarded 66,065 shares in the early pay package with 33,245 shares withheld for tax purposes, the Journal said.