J5 alliance to combat cryptocurrency financial crime
Tax authorities in five countries have signed up to lead an international alliance that aims to combat transnational financial crimes, including those involving cryptocurrency.
The five-member Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) is a partnership between the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Netherlands’ Fiscale Inlichtingen- en Opsporingsdienst (FIOD), the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), and the US Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
J5 was formed in response to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) request for an international effort to curb tax crime.
An announcement by the J5 stated that the governments of its five member countries will work together to combat cross-border financial crimes such as money laundering by co-ordinating investigations and enforcement actions.
“We will…collaborate internationally to reduce the growing threat to tax administrations posed by cryptocurrencies and cybercrime and to make the most of data and technology,” it added.
Johanne Charbonneau, director general of the CRA commented: “The formation of the J5 demonstrates the serious commitment of governments around the globe in enhancing international co-operation in fighting serious international tax and financial crimes, money laundering, and cybercrime through the use of cryptocurrencies.
“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.”
Breaking down walls
Don Fort, chief of IRS-CI, told business magazine Forbes: “We cannot continue to operate in the same ways we have in the past, siloing our information from the rest of the world while organised 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 pressurise the global criminal community in ways we could not achieve on our own.”