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PAC wants to hear from six multinationals about corporation tax

Apple, Google, Citibank, JP Morgan, GSK and Pfizer asked to appear before committee

Public Accounts Committee chairman Seán Fleming: “We need to examine the interaction between the multinational sector and the Irish State in relation to corporation tax.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Six major multinational firms including Apple and Google are to be asked to come before the Public Accounts Committee next year to discuss corporation tax in Ireland in light of the release of the Paradise Papers.

Committee chairman Seán Fleming said Citibank, JP Morgan, GSK and Pfizer would also be invited to “voluntarily appear” to discuss the matter.

“We need to examine the interaction between the multinational sector and the Irish State in relation to corporation tax,” he said.

“I think it is important for the Public Accounts Committee and the public at large to hear from the other side of the equation, the multinational sector, and their understanding of how corporation tax works in Ireland.”

Mr Fleming proposed that the committee write to the companies and that it would be early next year before “they might be able to avail of the opportunity to come in”.

Tax consultant

He said the companies had appeared before the British parliament and they should “show equal respect to the Irish national parliament”.

The Revenue Commissioners are due to appear before the committee shortly to examine issues surrounding Ireland’s corporation tax receipts.

Mr Fleming said the committee would also seek additional resources to secure a senior tax consultant to advise members.

Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy said the Department of Finance should ensure the committee “has sight of some of the thinking” behind its approach including the issue of “very significant tax shelters”.

Separately, the committee also heard there were a handful of State bodies who have still not submitted their accounts for 2015.

Department of Education officials are due to appear before the committee next week and Mr Fleming said the matter would be put to them as “the principal offenders are under their remit, they’re the third level institutions”.