Five countries have formed an international taskforce to fight cryptocurrency related crimes. This isn’t a trailer for some Marvel superhero tale, although it sounds like it. In fact, it is the USA/s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and tax authorities from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK. Together they are the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, or ‘J5’. With a name like that, maybe they do wear their underpants over a pair of tights.
J5 will be working together, gathering intelligence and undertaking criminal investigations “to reduce the growing threat to tax administrations posed by cryptocurrencies and cybercrime.” The coalition also plans to target transnational tax crime and money laundering.
The formation of J5 is a response to the OECD’s request that countries do more to tackle the issue of tax crimes. Don Fort, chief of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) said that the coalition effort “can pressurize the global criminal community in ways we could not achieve on our own.”
The IRS-CI has already appointed a 10-person team of new investigators in its effort to pursue those people who use crypto to avoid paying taxes. It already subjects cryptocurrencies to federal property taxes and the IRS is also working alongside the Department of Justice and he FBI on a number of crypto-related criminal cases, “including a major indictment against listings website Backpage.com this spring — the site was charged with laundering half a billion dollars in illegal revenue, partly via cryptocurrency,” says Cointelegraph.