International Tax Review is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Former PwC Australia partner faces criminal investigation over tax leaks

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 30, 2018: PwC headquarters building

Police are now investigating the leak of confidential tax information by a former PwC partner at the request of the Australian government.

The Australian Federal Police has launched an investigation into former PwC employee Peter-John Collins and his role in the Treasury tax leaks scandal today, May 24.

An AFP spokesperson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the police have “received a report of crime relating to the alleged misuse of confidential government information”.

“An investigation has commenced and no further comment will be made at this time,” the spokesperson added.

PwC Australia received confidential government tax plans after Collins, the firm’s former head of international tax, attended high-level meetings as part of his role in an advisory group to the Australian Treasury.

The Tax Practitioners Board has imposed a two-year ban on Collins as a penalty. Collins left PwC Australia in October 2022.

Steven Kennedy, secretary to the Treasury, said Collins had “improperly used confidential Commonwealth information” in an official statement earlier today.

“The emails that the Tax Practitioners Board tabled in Parliament on May 2 2023 highlighted the significant extent of the unauthorised disclosure of confidential Commonwealth information and the wide range of individuals within PwC who were directly and indirectly privy to the confidential information,” Kennedy said.

“In light of these recent revelations and the seriousness of this misconduct, the Treasury has referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police to consider commencement of a criminal investigation,” he added.

PwC Australia CEO Tom Seymour stepped down on May 9 over the scandal. An independent inquiry has been launched and Seymour is set to retire in September, when the results of the investigation will be published.

Last week, Kristin Stubbins, acting CEO, said: “We are committed to learning from our mistakes and ensuring that we embrace the high standards of governance, culture and accountability that our people, clients and external stakeholders rightly expect.”

The ‘big four’ firm has flown in global executives to take oversight of the crisis, while former Telstra CEO Ziggy Switkowski conducts an independent review of the leak and the company.

A PwC Australia spokesperson said the firm “will continue to co-operate fully with any investigations into this matter”, reported Reuters.

more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

PwC publishes detailed accounts of its behaviour in the tax scandal in Australia, while another tax trial looms for pop star Shakira.
The winners of the ITR Europe, Middle East, and Africa Tax Awards 2023 have been announced!
The winners of the ITR Asia-Pacific Tax Awards 2023 have been announced!
Mauro Faggion appeared cautiously optimistic as the European Commission waits to see whether all 27 member states will accept its proposal.
The global minimum rate also won’t entirely stop a race to the bottom, according to a tax director speaking at an ITR conference in London.
The country’s tax authorities are not interested in seeing transfer pricing studies any more, it was claimed at an ITR industry conference in London.
The controversial measure is being watered down after criticism from the European Central Bank.
More than 600 such requests were made in 2022, while HMRC has also bolstered its fraud service, it has been revealed.
The General Court reverses its position taken four years ago, while the UN discusses tax policy in New York.
Discussion on amount B under the first part of the OECD's two-pronged approach to international tax reform is far from over, if the latest consultation is anything go by.