The Big Four firm's Canadian arm is accused of setting up offshore tax structures in the Isle of Man
KPMG’S Canadian arm is the subject of two complaints from one of the country’s largest financial worker’s unions, with the group claiming that the Big Four firm set up offshore tax structures in the Isle of Man to help wealthy Canadians avoid paying taxes.
The Association of Canadian Financial Officers, which represents more than 4,500 government financial officers in the country, has lodged two formal complaints of professional misconduct against the Big Four firm, urging the Chartered Professional Accountants to “measure KPMG’s behaviour against the profession’s code of conduct”.
The complaints surround KPMG’s alleged involvement in sheltering funds of wealthy Canadian clients using a company based in the British Crown dependency.
“We believe that providing this type of service is contrary to the profession’s reputation for competence and integrity,” highlighted the complaint.
“These actions go well beyond the establishment of individual reputations; it affects the public perception of the chartered professional accountancy profession as a whole.”
A spokesperson for KPMG responded to the complaints, labelling them as “defamatory”.
“All tax planning undertaken by KPMG has always and continues to meet the requirements of all Canadian and provincial tax laws.
“We know that any review will conclusively demonstrate that KPMG’s people acted with the highest integrity and respect for the law at all times. To suggest anything else is defamatory,” continued the spokesperson.
This development comes just days after five additional named women joined the ongoing $350m (£243m) class action gender discrimination lawsuit against the accountancy firm.
The use of offshore tax havens has come under scrutiny in recent times, particularly through the emergence of the Panama Papers.