PwC Australia Reveals Staff Involved in Tax Plan Leak, Scandal Escalates

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PwC Australia has disclosed the identities of at least 67 current and former employees who were involved in leaking confidential government tax plans.

The disclosure came through an unpublished letter sent to lawmakers ahead of parliamentary hearings scheduled for later this week. On May 29, acting Chief Executive Kristin Stubbins publicly apologised for the scandal and instructed nine partners to take leave pending the investigation into the breaches of confidentiality. 

“I want to apologise on behalf of PwC Australia. For sharing confidential government tax policy information and betraying the trust placed in us,” Stubbins wrote.

Australia’s largest pension fund suspends collaboration with PwC due to the leak. It originated from a former partner sharing confidential drafts to boost global business prospects while consulting on tax laws to combat corporate tax avoidance.

Previously released redacted emails totalling 144 pages unveiled a network of employees collaborating with PwC firms in the United States, Britain, Singapore, and the Netherlands to assist multinational companies bypass Australia’s recently implemented tax regulations.

In response to inquiries from a senate committee, PwC Australia submitted a list of four former partners, including the central figure in the scandal, who played a role in the leak. Additionally, the firm identified a separate group of 63 current and former partners who received at least one email containing confidential information related to Australia’s 2016 Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law

“I have worked at PwC for my whole career, which has been personally and professionally devastating for me and my colleagues at PwC. I am fully committed to doing everything it takes to make the wrongs of our past right and to re-earn your trust,” Stubbins ended the letter.

PwC Australia now faces a critical phase as it seeks to contain the fallout from the scandal, restore client trust, and navigate the ongoing investigation into the breach of confidentiality.

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