PwC tax chief called before PAC
PwC’s UK head of tax, Kevin Nicholson, who previously headed the firm’s entrepreneurs and private clients division, has been called to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
As part of a larger inquiry into tax avoidance and related to the recent Lux-leaks scandal, where PwC Luxembourg was shown to facilitate thousands of tax avoidance schemes, Nicholson will appear alone before the PAC on December 8.
A spokesperson for the PAC added that it was unlikely it would call on any other witnesses.
This is not the first time that PwC – or Nicholson – has been asked to answer questions before the PAC and chair Margaret Hodge.
Last year, Hodge accused the Big Four firms deliberately selling aggressive avoidance schemes, declaring that “protestations of innocence” were unfounded as the firms continued “to sell complex tax avoidance schemes with as little as 50% chance of succeeding if challenged in court”.
The Big Four tax leaders renounced the claims, with Nicholson saying that he strongly disagreed with the PAC’s findings, adding that PwC “operate[s] under a clear code of conduct, professional guidelines, and work[s] constructively with HMRC”.
A PwC spokesperson said, “We stand by the evidence we gave to the public accounts committee in January 2013 and are very willing to clarify any of the points made.”