The Senate committee report also criticized Caterpillar’s accountants, PwC, saying that the firm’s roles as auditor and tax consultant represented a conflict of interest. PwC on Thursday said it had no comment.
In testimony before the Senate in 2014, PwC partner Thomas Quinn said the firm believed that its “tax advice and Caterpillar’s tax positions were correct under applicable tax laws. In sum, PwC’s provision of tax services to Caterpillar as our audit client was entirely appropriate.”
Caterpillar also disclosed in its annual report that it had received grand jury subpoenas from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois seeking documents and information related to the movement of cash among U.S. and non-U.S. subsidiaries, and the purchase and resale of replacement parts by Caterpillar Inc. and non-U.S. Caterpillar subsidiaries, including Caterpillar SARL. Caterpillar said it is cooperating with the investigation and did not believe it would have a material impact on its finances.