Friday, April 26, 2013

Audit firms' 'cosy' links to the Treasury: Damning report attacks Government's relationship with 'Big Four' companies

Britain's biggest accountancy firms have ‘an unhealthily cosy relationship with Government’, a damning report from MPs will warn today.

The Public Accounts Committee said that 'much' of the profit made every year by the 'Big Four' accountancy firms - Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers - comes from 'minimizing the tax paid' by their wealthy clients.

And MPs slammed the firms’ practice of parachuting their tax experts into government departments to provide tax advice.

This creates a ‘ridiculous conflict of interest,’ the committee said, because it allows the accountants to gain ‘inside knowledge’ of the tax system which they then use to help big companies avoid paying tax in the UK - leaving the taxpayer millions of pounds worse off.