News Brendan Keenan

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Brendan Keenan: Fancy a tax break? Try an Irish coffee and a Dutch sandwich

Ireland's 'tax haven' status is becoming uncomfortable but there's little sign of any real political will for reform

Published 18/11/2012 | 05:00

IT could have been worse. As well as the 'double Irish', we might have had 'Irish coffee' as a way of describing multinational tax avoidance schemes.

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In this case it turned out to be Dutch coffee. I presume such a thing would be made with gin instead of whiskey, which sounds awful. It might be going too far to say the same of Dutch attitudes to corporation tax, but it's tempting.

The case in question was the hearings by a British parliamentary committee into schemes by MNCs to reduce their corporation tax. All legal, of course, but I liked the comment by the committee chairwoman: "We are not talking about illegal, we are talking about immoral."

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