If you’ve got a horde of bitcoin stashed on a computer and haven’t let Uncle Sam know, the IRS could be coming after you. The same thing is true in other countries such as Australia.
The IRS has launched the Joint Chiefs Global Tax Enforcement (J5) coalition to go after tax fraudsters. The agency, responding to a request from the International Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to take on international tax crime.
The new organization includes tax authorities from the United States, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and the UK, “to increase collaboration in the fight against international and transnational tax crime and money laundering,” it said in a release.
“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,” said Don Fort, chief of IRS-CI, in the release. “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.”
Of particular interest, according to Business Insider, is the role of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in international criminal activities. The publication reports:
Cryptocurrency allows for easy international transfers, which is a cause for concern among government agencies due to the difficulty of investigating and prosecuting cryptocurrency-related crimes.
The organization didn’t provide details as to how it would operate.
But, said Johanne Charbonneau, Director General, Canada Revenue Agency, “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.”