• Register
Return to: Home > News > Tax > Big Four reputation harmed by tax avoidance: PAC

Big Four reputation harmed by tax avoidance: PAC


The reputation of big UK accountancy firms has suffered because of their substantial role in advising clients how to avoid tax, according to the UK Public Accounts Committee.

In a report update on tax avoidance published today the PAC say accountants' advice on corporate structures and tax planning only help businesses avoid UK taxes.

The report states: "In becoming more involved in constructing complex tax arrangements for their clients, the big accountancy firms are increasingly seen as being part of the problem of corporate tax avoidance, rather than the solution.

"In providing tax advice and reaching audit judgements on their clients' UK operations and structures, the big accountancy firms need to focus on the substance of the enterprise, rather than on artificial structures which serve only to avoid tax.

"The worldwide concerns about artificial tax arrangements will not go away and the big accountancy firms have the opportunity to play a leading role in promoting and enabling transparency in their clients' tax structures and payments."

The PAC said it expects big accountancy firms to recognise the public mood on tax avoidance has changed and that they should provide responsible advice to ensure that corporate arrangements reflect the substance of transactions and operations in the UK and enable their clients to be more transparent about where they make profits and pay tax.

In conclusion the PAC calls for UK professional bodies to emphasise the importance of firms "behaving responsibly in selling tax advice to clients, and in reaching audit judgements on the substance of their clients' UK operations and structures".

 

Top Content

    Time pressure: Facing up to mental health

    In an ‘always on’ culture, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage a healthy work-life balance. While companies are beginning to address this problem by introducing different support systems, Joe Pickard finds more could be done to ensure the wellbeing of the professions workforce.

    read more

    Venezuela: the race for the dollar

    With a new currency following hyperinflation, large sections of the population emigrating to neighbouring countries, an economy on the brink of collapse and no apparent solution coming from the government, Jonathan Minter finds a profession struggling to stay afloat in Venezuela.

    read more

    Brazil: transparency and control

    Brazilian accountants have an optimistic view of the impact of more-regular reporting and the implications of audit controversies for the profession. Paul Golden reports.

    read more

    Argentina: looking for a clearer view

    The Argentine accounting profession continues to grapple with the impacts of a weak economy and a culture of financial corruption. Paul Golden takes a closer look.

    read more

    Blockchain: adapting to disruptive tech

    In the relatively few years since digital currencies first began using blockchain technology, the array of potential applications has grown significantly – and continues to expand. Dan Balla, Matthew Schell and Dave Uhryniak from Crowe look at how it impacts accountancy.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.