THE multi-national companies whose tax arrangements with the state were sought by Europe weren’t told that the sensitive information was being handed over.
The European Competition Commission specifically named a number of companies when they asked for information from the Government to determine whether “sweetheart deals” are being offered to businesses operating here.
The Revenue Commissioners told the Oireachtas sub committee on tax that the companies were not notified because the information had to be handed over within a set time.
Eamonn O’Dea of the Revenue Commissioners also said that the companies still hadn’t been notified.
“We proceeded to provide the general and more specific responses requested and … the companies were not notified in that regard because there was a time for the work to be done,” Mr O’Dea said.
It comes after it was revealed that the European Competition Commission had launched an informal information-gathering probe to find out how taxes are being levied in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg
However the tax details that were handed over are not being made public.
The Department of Finance said the request for the information had come over the course of the summer.
If any evidence of abuse emerges from the initial probe, a full investigation will be launched by Europe, although there is not known when this initial investigation will be completed.
Revenue also stressed that no special tax arrangements were in place for companies operating here.
Irish authorities have always insisted that there are no special tax deals for companies. Under Irish law, all businesses are supposed to be subject to the same laws and tax rates.