European Commission request gives Ireland chance to 'clear the air' over corporate tax claims

Tuesday 17 September 2013 14.56
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said no formal investigation had been launched
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said no formal investigation had been launched

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has said there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the Government in relation to corporate taxation.

Last week, the European Commission confirmed that Ireland was one of three countries it had written to concerning tax arrangements with multinational companies.

Ms Geoghegan-Quinn said information being sought by the commission gave the Government a chance to "clear the air" following claims made about the tax rate recently.

Speaking at the opening of a medical innovation centre in Galway, she said the commission had simply requested information.

No formal investigation of Ireland's corporate tax structure had been launched, she added.

She agreed with comments made by Minister of State Brian Hayes at an ECOFIN meeting recently, when he said Ireland had nothing to fear from the commission's exercise.

The commissioner said the Government had put the issue of tax transparency on the agenda when it held the EU presidency earlier this year.

The information gathering process would take time, she said, adding that the next stage would follow "in the normal course of events".