This article discusses the effect of deferred tax liabilities (DTLs) on an impairment test of goodwill. While IAS 12.66 acknowledges that DTLs arising in a business combination influence the amount of goodwill an entity recognises, International Financial Reporting Standards are silent on the implications of this rule, in particular that DTLs trigger a ‘day one’ impairment of goodwill. To avoid this impairment charge, the professional literature suggests deducting DTLs from the carrying amount of the cash generating unit. This method appears contentious conceptually and is unable to shield the entity from an impairment in subsequent periods. The article discusses four proposed solutions to the problem, but recommends a conceptual re‐think of the mechanical recognition of deferred taxes in a business combination.