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Wednesday, September 27, 2023
HomeEconomyAustralian tax authorities are investigating possible violations abroad in PwC scandal

Australian tax authorities are investigating possible violations abroad in PwC scandal


Australian tax officials have said they are working with international colleagues to investigate possible crimes outside the country linked to the PwC tax leak scandal.

Australian Tax Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn told a new Senate hearing on the advisory industry that the regulator has the power to share information and concerns with foreign counterparts about “potential violations in other jurisdictions that may have been caused by a number of of this behaviour”.

The public inquiry follows the revelations that a PwC partner involved in developing laws to combat multinational tax avoidance shared confidential information with colleagues, who won business through his leadership.

The Senate released internal PwC emails last month in which partners in Australia and internationally discussed the use of the confidential information.

PwC executives will speak at the current hearing, following officials from the Treasury, the tax watchdog and the IRS.

Hirschhorn answered questions from MPs about the impact of PwC’s breach of confidentiality on Australia’s “sophisticated” role in amending laws to prevent multinational companies from avoiding tax by using complex structures spanning several countries .

“Those emails clearly show that the international tax network within PwC was operating internationally to undermine the development of Australian law or the application of the law,” Hirschhorn said.

PwC is under pressure to release a full list of partners included in the emails and of the clients who might have benefited from his advice.

The company provided a list of 63 names to senators early in the week, also naming four former partners it said were involved in information sharing and nine partners who have been stepped down by the adviser pending the outcome of an assessment.

“It is important for us to respect the ongoing investigations and legal processes to ensure that this matter is properly investigated, which is what we are doing,” said a PwC spokesperson.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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