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Apple and Google to be asked to appear before the PAC to explain their tax affairs

Google, Apple, JP Morgan, City Bank, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer will be invited to appear before a government committee.

Google and Apple, JP Morgan, Citi Bank, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer will be invited to appear before the PAC.
Google and Apple, JP Morgan, Citi Bank, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer will be invited to appear before the PAC.
Image: Shutterstock

APPLE AND GOOGLE are to be asked to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) next year.

Chairperson Sean Fleming said there has been a lot of talk about Ireland’s corporation tax following the release of the Paradise Papers.

The 13.4 million documents detail the tax affairs of some of the wealthiest people and companies in the world.

At the end of the month, the Revenue Commissioners are due to appear before the committee to deal with issues surrounding Ireland’s corporation tax receipts.

“I think it is important for the PAC and 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,” said Fleming.

He noted there has been a lot of talk about the “volatility and risk of the Irish Exchequer’s heavy reliance” on corporation tax.

A total of 75% of corporation tax comes from large multinational companies – with about ten companies paying 36% of all corporation tax, explained the deputy.

‘Big players’ 

The PAC decided to invite the “big players” to appear before them next year. The companies to be sent invitations are:

IT companies, Google and Apple, financial institutions, JP Morgan and Citi Bank and big pharma companies, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.

The companies will not be compelled to appear before the committee.

Fleming said it is important these companies explain how their companies interact with the Irish State.

He noted that there is precedent for these companies appearing before government committees, pointing out that many have appeared in Westminster.

“They should show equal respect to the Irish National Parliament,” he said.

Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane said the PAC does not have the same resources as their counterpart committee in Westminster and said members should be given a detailed briefing on the change in Irish tax rules in 2013 and 2015 to ensure they are “able to do the type of job” needed.

Fleming said the committee will request additional resources to hire a senior taxation consultant to “inform and educate” members on the issues, to ensure that the meetings with the multinationals are not just a “window-dressing exercise”.

Read: All new cars sold in Ireland from next April will ‘call’ emergency service if you crash>

Read: ‘People in council estates won’t put down their address on job applications for fear of discrimination’>

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