The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a press release on Monday announcing the creating of a new multinational joint operational alliance to combat tax crime, including those related to cryptocurrency. The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement – or J5 – will include tax enforcement officials from The United States, the UK, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands.
According to the press release, the J5 was formed as a direct response to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) recommendation that nations around the world strengthen their tax crime enforcement efforts. The group has pledged to share its findings with other tax enforcement officials around the world.
IRS CI Chief Don Fort said that national tax authorities need to change the way they operate:
“We cannot continue to operate in the same ways we have in the past, siloing our information from the rest of the world while organized criminals and tax cheats manipulate the system and exploit vulnerabilities for their personal gain. The J5 aims to break down those walls, build upon individual best practices, and become an operational group that is forward-thinking and can pressurize the global criminal community in ways we could not achieve on our own.”
The Netherlands’ FIOD General Director Hans van der Vlist suggested that the J5’s unique approach will involve close collaboration between tax enforcement officials in the five nations. Together, they will work to combat “professional enablers that facilitate offshore tax crime, cybercrime and the threat of cryptocurrencies to tax administrations.”
The J5 conducted its first meeting a week ago, focusing on strategies and tactical planning. The group’s announcement suggested that its experts have “identified opportunities to pursue cyber criminals and enablers of transnational tax crime.” The goal is to pursue those criminals using technology, data-sharing, and a new approach that leverages the five nations’ “collective capabilities.”