Goldman Sachs
People walk in front of Goldman Sachs' building in Fleet Street, London Peter Macdiarmid/ Getty Images

Investment bank Goldman Sachs is reporting that its first quarter profits rose by 26 percent, helped by a lower tax bill and a surge in market volatility.

Goldman earned $2.83 billion, or $6.95 a share, compared with $2.26 billion, or $5.15 a share, in the same period a year earlier. The results topped analysts' forecasts, who were looking for Goldman to earn $5.58 a share, according to FactSet.

Revenue increased across its businesses, but most notably in trading, which saw net revenues rise 31 percent from a year earlier. Goldman also said its tax bill will be sharply lower this year, which helped boost its results as well.

This follows Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. recording the highest quarterly profit in its history, as the company benefited greatly from the new tax law passed late last year.

JPMorgan Chase, the USA's largest bank by assets and deposits, had a profit of $8.71 billion in the first quarter, a jump of 35 percent from a profit of $6.45 billion in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, JPMorgan earned $2.37 a share, up from $1.65 per share, beating analysts' forecasts.

In December the US Senate approved the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax system in more than three decades - considered the high water mark of the Trump administration's legislative program to date. It included slashing corporate taxes from 35% to 21%.

Roughly 36 percent of Americans approve of the Republican tax cuts, according to a March Quinnipiac University Poll and a CNBC poll found that 52 percent of working adults said they had not seen a change to their paychecks since the cuts were passed.

In January, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said 90 percent of all working adults would see increases in their paychecks because of the cuts.

However, a recent survey raised doubts that tax cuts would reach lower paid workers.

A new analysis of all Fortune 500 companies revealed that less than 1-in-20 workers will receive a bonus or wage increase tied to the business tax cuts, while businesses received nine times more in cuts than what they passed on to their workers, according to Americans for Tax Fairness, a political advocacy group devoted to tax reform. The analysis also found that companies spent 37 times as much on stock buybacks than they did on bonuses and increased wages for workers.