An international coalition of five countries – the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands – have formed the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5). The J5 will fight money laundering and tax evasion, with a specific focus on cryptocurrencies which they deem to be a global threat.
The United States Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) will be the member organizations of the J5.
The Director-General of the CRA, Johanne Charbonneau, says, “The formation of the J5 demonstrates the serious commitment of governments around the globe in enhancing international cooperation in fighting serious international tax and financial crimes, money laundering, and cybercrime through the use of cryptocurrencies. The J5 complements the important international work of the OECD through operational collaboration. Our collective efforts and experience will be shared to jointly identify and address the increasingly sophisticated and global schemes and the professional enablers that facilitate such schemes.”
The General Director of FIOD, Hans van der Vlist, adds, “The unique thing about the J5 is the operational collaboration between five countries on tackling professional enablers that facilitate offshore tax crime, cybercrime and the threat of cryptocurrencies to tax administrations, as well as making best use of internationally available data and technology.”
The J5 will achieve its goals of reducing money laundering and tax evasion by sharing information and intelligence between nations, collaborating to develop new approaches that increase enforcement capability, and by conducting joint enforcement operations.
Cryptocurrency tax evasion has increased since the 2017 rally that saw Bitcoin reach record levels near USD 20,000. Many investors have chosen to not report their profits as required by law. The IRS has been actively trying to trace cryptocurrency transactions and has forced exchanges like Coinbase to hand over customer data in their efforts to collect taxes.
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