61 PwC Partners Accused of Tax Crimes Over Bonuses in Spain
Spain’s anti-corruption prosecutor accused 61 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP partners of committing tax crimes, saying they failed to declare a total of 21 million euros ($28.4 million) in bonus payments.
The PwC partners categorized the 2002 bonus payments as part of the price of the sale of a consulting division to IBM that carried a lower tax rate, the prosecutor said in an e-mailed statement today. The agency presented a written accusation requesting a criminal trial, according to the statement.
“The partners omitted to establish in their tax returns that the sums were payments from work,” the prosecutor said.
PwC “roundly denies” the accusations against its partners and is convinced that the case will be thrown out once the truth is recognized, the firm’s Madrid office said in an e-mailed statement today.
“There has been no concealment or fraud,” PwC said. “All the operations and amounts have been declared and formulated with all the legal requirements.”
Spain is clamping down on tax evasion as part of its drive to tackle a budget deficit that risks slipping from its target. The budget shortfall, excluding municipalities, was 5.27 percent of gross domestic product in the first seven months of the year, compared with a full-year target of 6.5 percent.
The prosecutor is seeking jail terms of as much as 14 years and 10 months and fines of more than 102 million euros.
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