This will get your Irish up

    Ever hear of the Double Irish?

    Believe it or not, it’s a name given by tax specialists to a slick maneuver that companies like Google use to avoid paying billions in US corporate taxes – perfectly legally of course.

    On Fresh Air today, my guest Jesse Drucker explains how Google uses two Irish subsidiaries, one of them technically headquartered in Bermuda, to dramatically lower their tax bill.

    That’s the Double Irish. Drucker, a reporter for Bloomberg News, will also explain a variant of it called the Dutch Sandwich. In that one, a Dutch subsidiary with no employees routes payments between the two Irish companies.

    Drucker has been reporting for the past year on “transfer pricing,” the general term for corporations using these paper transactions among foreign subsidiaries to avoid taxes.

    It’s a revealing half hour, well-told by Drucker. You can listen or download a podcast here.

    Also on the show is film director Gregg Mottola.

    He directed the teen comedy Superbad, but two films he wrote and directed are his real gems: Day Trippers, a 1996 release you should try and catch on cable or video, and Adventureland, a 2009 film that was mis-marketed as a teen-sex pic. It’s really a coming-of-age story starring Jesse Eisenberg, set in a grimy amusement park in the 1980’s.

    And Mottola’s new film Paul is a sci-fit comedy that opens Friday. It’s not deep, but it’s very funny.

    It features the English duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the guys from the hilarious films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. They play a couple of English sci-fi nerds touring UFO sties in the American West who on a road trip with an alien who looks kind of like ET and sounds like Seth Rogen (because that’s who does his voice).

    You can hear it at 3 and 7 on 91FM. If you’re listening outside the Philadelphia area, you can find a station here. You can learn more about Gregg Mottola and listen to our interview here.

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