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Goldman Sachs’ Tax Rate Drops To 1%?

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Looks like the folks at Goldman Sachs will get those hefty bonuses after all.

Still think paying taxes isn’t patriotic?

From Bloomberg:

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which got $10 billion and debt guarantees from the U.S. government in October, expects to pay $14 million in taxes worldwide for 2008 compared with $6 billion in 2007.

The company’s effective income tax rate dropped to 1 percent from 34.1 percent, New York-based Goldman Sachs said today in a statement. The firm reported a $2.3 billion profit for the year after paying $10.9 billion in employee compensation and benefits.

Goldman Sachs, which today reported its first quarterly loss since going public in 1999, lowered its rate with more tax credits as a percentage of earnings and because of “changes in geographic earnings mix,” the company said.

The rate decline looks “a little extreme,” said Robert Willens, president and chief executive officer of tax and accounting advisory firm Robert Willens LLC.

“I was definitely taken aback,” Willens said. “Clearly they have taken steps to ensure that a lot of their income is earned in lower-tax jurisdictions.”

So what will be done about this?

(sounds of crickets chirping)

But the question now: how exactly does the normal American taxpayer get in on this sweet action? Shouldn’t we all be able to shift our earning potential to the Caymans? Come on, let’s all game the system so we can get a $5.86 billion tax break!

More as it develops…