Five international tax enforcement leaders known as the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement or J5, have formed an alliance to combat tax evasion. The J5 includes, the UK, the US, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.
The leaders meet on a yearly basis to collaborate on tackling common tax evasion issues. This year the meeting was held virtually, due to the coronavirus pandemic, where the topic of discussion was the challenges faced when dealing with cryptocurrency and financial technology in tax evasion.
In recent years, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have grown in popularity and have therefore become more of a priority for tax authorities to uncover information on the assets. Digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, have been used for money laundering and other illicit activities in some instances, whilst proving to be a profitable investment for others. The nature of cryptocurrencies allows for anonymous transactions to be made however, the J5 are warning users that they would be mistaken to assume that cryptocurrencies are untraceable by the authorities.
The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement are committed to tackling cross-national tax crime and money-laundering threats, including cryptocurrencies. The tax enforcement leaders stated that tax crimes are becoming more sophisticated, making international cooperation imperative to keep ahead of criminal activity.
The J5 expect more international involvement in the coming years, to tackle offshore operators and cryptocurrency schemes.