Washington (Nov. 18, 2003) -- Officials of Big Four firm KPMG are scheduled to testify before the Senate Governmental Affairs permanent investigations subcommittee, in the first of two days of scheduled hearings this week on the marketing of tax shelters by accounting and law firms.

A recent Senate investigation determined that KPMG aggressively marketed tax shelters via a telemarketing center and also utilized client return data as potential “leads” for tax shelters.

In a statement, KPMG said the firm has made “substantial improvements and changes to its tax practices policies and procedures over the last three years.”

Specifically, the firm said it has discontinued offering “aggressive tax strategies designed to be sold to multiple clients such as FLIP, BLIPS OPIS and SC2.”

The firm also said that it eliminated two practices -- Stratecon and Innovative Solutions -- which were responsible for developing tax strategies and also jettisoned the Tax Innovation Center, a unit that was charged with packaging and marketing tax strategies.

The second hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20. Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers also are expected to testify at the hearings.

-- WebCPA staff

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