Date
20 September 2017
A British parliamentary panel has criticized PwC for devising financing structures that allowed firms to secure very low tax rates in Luxembourg. Photo: Bloomberg
A British parliamentary panel has criticized PwC for devising financing structures that allowed firms to secure very low tax rates in Luxembourg. Photo: Bloomberg

PwC accused of selling tax avoidance ‘on industrial scale’

British lawmakers accused accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) of selling tax avoidance for clients “on an industrial scale” through deals set up in Luxembourg, 

During a hearing Monday, MPs on the public accounts committee denounced PwC for devising financing structures that allowed firms to secure very low tax rates in Luxembourg, Financial Times reported.

 

The lawmakers also attacked Shire, a pharmaceutical firm that was one of the companies that saw its tax affairs come under scrutiny after the leak of documents from Luxembourg, the report said.

“The way in which you conduct your business is outrageous,” Margaret Hodge, chair of the committee, was quoted as saying.

 

Both PwC and Shire denied the lawmakers’ accusations.

 

The inquiry is the latest in a series of high-profile hearings into the tax affairs of multinationals, such as Google, Amazon and Starbucks, by the committee.

 

Kevin Nicholson, head of tax for PwC in the UK, countered the criticisms by drawing attention to the cross-party support for the UK’s recent reforms of its corporate tax rules, which facilitated financing through Luxembourg, the report said.

He said the reforms, which introduced a low tax rate for offshore finance companies, was part of a drive to make the UK an attractive place for business.

 

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RC

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