36 implicated in PwC tax evasion scandal in Australia - GulfToday

36 implicated in PwC tax evasion scandal in Australia

A PwC emblem is seen at one of its headquarters.

Gulf Today Report

The scandal of the one of the world’s biggest auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) deepened, as 9 of its partners announced their resignation, and PwC has been exposed since last January to a tax evasion scandal in Australia.

The case was criminally transferred last week, and there are reports that a confidential list of 36 people allegedly linked to the scandal could be tabled in the Australian Federal Parliament for investigation.

The scandal began in 2015 when the Australian federal government cracked down on tax-avoiding multinational corporations, seeking legislation to combat it.

Peter Collins, former head of international taxation at PwC in Australia, was called upon to assist the government in creating laws. He signed 3 separate confidentiality agreements as part of that process.

An Australian Tax Board investigation found that Collins had received confidential information and documents, and proceeded to share information about the law with PwC officials, which was an unauthorized act, in contravention of government secrets laws, and a leak of information.

PwC allegedly used this information to effectively avoid taxes around the world.

As the scandal mounts, last week the Australian federal government essentially banned PwC from doing any further business with Commonwealth countries — a huge loss for the company.

The Treasury has also referred the scandal to the Australian Federal Police, who are considering whether to open a criminal investigation.

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