PwC referred to police over confidential disclosure

·1-min read
Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS

A PwC partner who shared confidential federal government tax policy information to boost business has been referred to the Australian Federal Police.

The consulting firm's former head of international tax Peter Collins improperly used confidential commonwealth information, the Treasury Secretary says.

That has sparked the referral to the AFP to consider if criminal charges should be brought.

"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," said a statement from the Treasury Secretary.

"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."

The partner shared information regarding tax laws boosts, among them rules preventing multinationals from lowering taxes by shifting profits internationally.

Their CEO has since quit and PwC has triggered an investigation into the company's practices.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has since pledged to strengthen the Tax Practitioners Board's powers after it uncovered the breach.

PwC has handled more than $500 million in federal government contracts in the past two years.