Marks & Spencer has become the latest retailer to bring forward bonus payments in order to beat the 50% tax rate being introduced next month.

The retailer will pay cash bonuses to its 78,000 staff in the first few days of April, before the tax rate on personal income above £150,000 rises from 40% to 50% on April 6, the Daily Telegraph reported. M&S would normally pay the bonuses in July.

M&S’s action follows that of supermarket group Sainsburys, which will pay its staff bonuses in late March – 12 weeks earlier than normal.

M&S’s decision means that about 600 senior staff will be taxed at the lower rate, including some whose total would be taken over the limit by personal allowances.

An M&S spokesman declined to comment on the size of the total bonus that will be paid out, or the level of cash bonus that executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose is expected to receive.