A year after its formation, the J5 group of tax authorities is closing in on companies and individuals that are using cryptocurrency to avoid, as Jeremy Corbyn would likely say, ‘their fair share.’
Comprised of financial authorities from the Netherlands, US, UK, Canada, and Australia, the J5 was formed as a means by which the taxmen in each of those countries could share information, best practices and work together to catch tax avoiders.
And those efforts appear to have been fruitful. A statement released by the Australian Taxation Office on Friday indicates that the various taxation bodies have shared more information in the past twelve months than they had in the prior ten years.
On top of that, the combined efforts of the different tax authorities have led to over 50 investigations into different companies and individuals. Some of those investigations appear to involve serious criminal activity, while others pertain more to people just wanting to keep their cash out of the government’s coffers.
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Your days are numbered
And after the group’s latest meeting, it seems that cryptocurrencies have become a major means by which people attempt to do this. But sadly for the people buying bitcoin in the hope that the taxmen won’t be able to nab it, the J5 is on the case.
“The cooperation between the J5 countries is becoming more effective and operational,” said Hans van der Vlist, general director of FIOD – a Dutch anti-fraud agency.
“Two weeks ago we took offline an important online mixer for cryptocurrencies. We are now analysing the seized information. We expect good leads for investigations in J5 countries. Another example is the FCInet matching system that will help us in the fight against transnational fiscal and financial crime.”
Alongside taking real action against cryptocurrency tax avoiders, the J5 also said that, at their latest meeting, they were given training on how to track digital assets, blockchain payments, and the dark web.
“We have found innovative ways to tackle these problems, remove barriers, and develop processes that make the sum of all of our parts a much more efficient and successful organisation,” said Dan Fort, chief of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. “It is not a good time to be a tax criminal on the run—your days are numbered.”