Treasury has released two consultation papers on the Government’s response to the PwC tax leaks scandal.

The first consultation paper seeks stakeholder views and feedback on issues for Treasury’s consideration in relation to the regulation of accounting, auditing and consulting firms in Australia.

The issues are:

  • the adequacy of prescribed governance requirements for large partnerships;
  • the adequacy of current professional standards, regulations and laws (including those relating to independence and the management of conflicts of interest);
  • whether the transparency requirements for accounting, auditing and consulting firms are sufficient to:
    • give capital markets confidence that independent audit services are delivered in accordance with prescribed laws and standards;
    • enable stakeholders to obtain the information they need to inform their engagement with the firm(s);
  • the adequacy of regulatory enforcement capabilities and standard setting;
  • the protection of whistleblowers and;
  • competition/resilience in the audit sector.

The second consultation paper is concerning information gathering powers of regulators.

The issues are:

  • whether the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) information gathering powers remain fit for purpose and operate to allow the ATO to properly assist the Australian Federal Police to investigate serious criminal offences perpetrated against the tax and superannuation systems.
  • the limitations on the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) using formal information gathering powers prior to commencing a formal investigation.


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