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Canada,  Europe,  Regulation,  United States

Five countries join forces to crack down on crypto tax crimes

Tax authorities from US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Netherlands coordinating enforcement

A group of five nations have formed an international alliance to fight cryptocurrency-related tax crimes and money laundering schemes.

The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, or J5, includes tax agencies from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Authorities from the five countries hope the collaborative effort will increase their success in combating cross-border tax crimes.

“We will work together to gather information, share intelligence, conduct operations, and build the capacity of tax crime enforcement officials,” the group said on its new page on the IRS website, adding that J5 plans on piloting new approaches and conducting joint operations against offshore tax crimes.

Cryptocurrency allows for easier cross-border payments that are harder to track, creating a difficulty for tax officials. The group said the multi-national approach to tracking covert money movements will reduce a growing threat to tax administrations.

“The J5 aims to break down those walls, build upon individual best practices, and become an operational group that is forward thinking and pressurize the global criminal community in ways we could not achieve on our own,” said Don Fort, chief of IRS’s Criminal Investigation division.

The group was formed after a call to action from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for nations to address the rising number of cases where cryptocurrencies were used to commit tax crimes. J5 had its first meeting last week and brought together leading experts in tax and financial crimes to develop a tactical plan, the group said in a press release.

The group said it also expects to collaborate with the OECD and other nations as necessary.

“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,” Ford added.

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Clark Fouraker is an award-winning investigative journalist whose stories have been featured on TV channels and websites across the country, including USA Today.