EU inquiry puts halt to multinational tax reform

The 'double Irish' is set for a stay of execution, because if the government ended it now it would look like an admission of guilt, writes Ian Kehoe.

Ian Kehoe - avatar

Ian Kehoe

14th September, 2013
Google's European headquarters on Barrow Street in Dublin 4. Photo: Bloomberg

Perception matters. For the past few months, officials in the Department of Finance have been quietly examining options to phase out the so called "Double Irish", the controversial tax arrangement that allows multinationals to wipe billions off their tax bill by funnelling profits through two Irish-linked subsidiaries.

The review was a response to growing international hostility to Ireland's intimate relationship with multinational corporations. The industry was being quietly sounded out; a statement of intent was...

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