Former PwC partner de-registered after confidential law disclosure

tax PwC TPB law

24 January 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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A former tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been de-registered as a tax agent for integrity breaches.

Peter-John Collins was part of a confidential consultation by Treasury to improve tax laws including  new rules to stop multinationals avoiding tax by shifting profits from Australia to tax and secrecy havens. However, Collins made unauthorised disclosures of this confidential law reform information to partners and staff of PwC.

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) found Collins failed to act with integrity, as required under his professional, ethical, and legal obligations, and terminated his tax agent registration. He was also banned for two years from working as a tax practitioner.

It also determined PwC failed to properly manage conflicts of interest, when this confidential law reform information was shared with partners and staff in their tax practice. PwC breached its obligations under the law and the Code of Professional Conduct.

PwC was ordered to have processes and training in place to ensure conflicts of interest are adequately managed.

TPB chair, Ian Klug, said: “We are very concerned when tax practitioners abuse their positions of trust, or fail to act with integrity. Many Australians and most businesses entrust their tax practitioner with sensitive personal, financial and tax information.

“Tax practitioners who breach this confidence will not be tolerated. Rules to manage conflicts of interest are equally important in protecting client interests, especially in a large firm with multiple clients and many staff.

“Some tax practitioners are involved in confidential law reform discussions, to share their wisdom and experience and to support the public interest. Leaking confidential information in these circumstances might be seen to elevate personal and commercial profit, breaching public interest, legal and ethical obligations.”

 

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Submitted by Hedware on Tue, 2023-01-24 09:20

Another good reason for the Federal Government to stop using the these accounting firms to do public service work.

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