Tax office accuses PwC of ‘deliberately hiding’ report
The tax office has accused consulting giant PwC of not disclosing key details of a report into the conduct of its partners in a tax advice scandal. Photo: AAP
The tax office has hit out at consulting firm PwC for “deliberately hiding” a report into the company’s actions during an ongoing scandal.
The agency expressed “significant frustration” with the embattled consultant for not releasing crucial details about an internal investigation into PwC conduct, a Senate inquiry heard on Friday.
An investigation by law firm Linklaters cleared overseas PwC partners of using confidential Treasury information for commercial gain.
However, the 2023 report said six international operatives from PwC were disciplined for not asking questions about the nature of the data.
Appearing before committee on Friday, ATO senior executive Jeremy Hirschhorn said PwC refused to provide the information on the six people mentioned in the report, despite repeated attempts.
“We share the frustrations of this committee that an organisation which claims to be co-operative is deliberately hiding behind the difference between their local firm and the international firm,” Mr Hirschhorn said.
“It’s fair to say PwC is very aware of the interest of the Australian community in that document.
“It would be preferable if that was (provided) in a spirit of true co-operation.”
Representatives from PwC are due to appear before the Senate inquiry.
Members of other big four consulting firms, including KPMG and EY are also on the witness list.
The fourth firm, Deloitte, is not scheduled to appear.
The inquiry was set up following revelations one of PwC’s partners used confidential briefings from Treasury to get clients.