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LinkedIn goes 'unlimited' to keep accounts private


LinkedIn founder and CEO Reid Hoffman, centre. Mike Segar

LinkedIn founder and CEO Reid Hoffman, centre. Mike Segar

LinkedIn founder and CEO Reid Hoffman, centre. Mike Segar

The Ireland-based division of LinkedIn, the social network aimed at professionals that has its international headquarters here, has moved to protect its financial activities from prying eyes by going unlimited.

That means LinkedIn Ireland won't have to file publicly available accounts.

Its desire to provide secrecy for its affairs comes as multinationals from Google to Apple continue to be under the spotlight for the way in which they have availed of legal Irish corporate structures to radically reduce their tax liabilities.

Filings with the Companies Office show that LinkedIn Ireland and LinkedIn Technology, also registered here, have been registered as unlimited firms.

The changes were only finalised within the past month.

Both firms are registered as companies in Ireland. However, LinkedIn Technology's effective centre of management is listed as being in the Isle of Man.

LinkedIn was founded by Reid Hoffman in 2003 and now has about 260 million members around the world. It floated on the stock market in 2011 and has a market capitalisation of $26bn (€19bn).

It established its international headquarters in Dublin in 2010 and employs more than 100 people here. It has joined companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google that have established international bases in the capital.

Foreign multinationals with bases in Ireland have been heavily scrutinised over the past year, particularly in the United States, with the country being labelled a tax haven by some American politicians – a tag robustly denied by their counterparts here.

Delivering the Budget last month, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he planned to close the loophole that had been used by Apple to shelter more than $40bn (€30bn) from taxation.

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Mr Noonan said he would make it illegal for a company registered in Ireland to have no tax domicile anywhere.

"Let me be crystal clear: Ireland wants to be part of the solution to this global tax challenge, not part of the problem," said Mr Noonan.

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