World Update

This company just gave all 200,000 employees a $1,000 Christmas bonus

This company just gave all 200,000 employees a $1,000 Christmas bonus
Make money money! (Picture: AP)

Bonuses in the workplace are a rarity these days (unless you’re in finance).

So news of a surprise Christmas handout of $1,000 must have been music to the ears of AT&T employees.

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The telecoms firm is handing out the lump sum to every single worker who is a union member — that’s more than 200,000.

AT&T made the announcement on Wednesday after Donald Trump’s radical new tax bill passed the House and the Senate.

It includes a huge corporate tax break businesses are already taking advantage of.

This company just gave all 200,000 employees a $1,000 Christmas bonus
It’s been a good year for AT&T (Picture: AP)

CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement: ‘Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by US businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world. This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our US investment and pay a special bonus to our US employees.’

All the new bill is awaiting for now is Trump’s signature. He is expected to sign it before the holidays.

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Don’t feel bad if you don’t understand how the new tax bill will affect you. Chances are, your accountant doesn’t yet either.

From New York to Kentucky to Florida, accountants and tax lawyers are scanning the 1,000 page measure, fielding a swirl of questions from clients and swapping tips via email in their efforts to fully grasp the bill’s far-reaching changes.

When the House and Senate released the final tax bill late last week, it gave many experts their first look at what will become as vast rewrite of tax law. Congress gave approval to the measure Wednesday, and President Donald Trump is to sign it this week.

‘The whole weekend I was overwhelmed with client requests on how this impacted them, and it hasn’t stopped, and probably won’t for several weeks,’ said Gary DuBoff, an accountant at MBAF, a New York-based firm.

The uncertainties range widely.

Should some taxpayers try to reclassify their pay as business income, which is taxed at lower rates for top earners? Should small companies restructure as corporations to capitalize on a now-much lower corporate tax rate? Can people in high-tax states rush to prepay their 2018 state and local income taxes this year to fully capitalize on the deduction for such payments, before it’s capped next year?

More: World

The answers are: Maybe, maybe and no, though taxpayers may be able to prepay their 2018 local property taxes this year.

‘Every one of your clients is calling you, and they all want to know what the effect is,’ says Joseph Perry, an accountant at Marcum, based in Melville, New York. ‘It’s like, “wait, slow down — we have to figure this out”.’

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