PWC and tax simplification: a process of getting what you want

Posted on

I was amused to note the press release put out by PWC in response to the PAC report on their industrial scale tax avoidance activities. It said:

We stand by the evidence we gave the public accounts committee and disagree with its conclusions about the work we do. But we recognise we need to do more to explain the positive role we play in the tax system and in helping businesses to operate successfully.

We agree the tax system is too complex, as governments compete for investment and tax revenues. We take our responsibility to build trust in the tax system seriously and will continue to support reform.

I'll deal with that communication issue separately. I was also intrigued by the comment about the tax system being too complex. My guess is that means they want to simplify it. And what PWC wants PWC tries to get. Is that why former PWC senior tax partner John Whiting is head of the UK Office for Tax Simplification? Shall we assume in that case that PWC is getting just as much tax simplification as it wants?