Former PwC Australia partner faces criminal investigation over tax leaks
International Tax Review is part of Legal Benchmarking Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX
Copyright © Legal Benchmarking Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

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

Alex Gerko had challenged HMRC’s positions on deferred trading profits that he and other traders made while working for hedge fund GSA
The Tax Practitioners Board had required PwC to overhaul its internal processes following the tax leaks scandal
With corporate tax rates already exceeding 15%, India will need to think creatively to extract additional revenue through new pillar two rules, local partners tell ITR
France continues to be a hot spot for tax lateral partner moves, according to ITR+’s Talent Tracker
Losses for HM Revenue and Customs and the Australian Taxation Office, cum-ex fraud and a 'mysterious funder' all feature in ITR’s list of 2024’s most significant tax cases so far
New requirements for advisers to inform clients of any relevant matters that might impact their relationship have raised concerns from a raft of professional bodies
The fallout from PwC China’s Evergrande audit has reportedly hit the firm hard; in other news, the US and Turkey look to reform their corporate tax rates
Canada risks inflaming US trade relations in a presidential election year and increasing costs for consumers, according to local experts
Dudbridge, ForrestBrown director and head of its advisory practice, FB Consulting, tells ITR about the joys of tax advisory work, what he finds most exciting about the role and what makes tax cool
A UK court rejected Tills Plus’s claim for R&D tax credits due to a lack of technological advancement
Gift this article