The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, known as the “J5”, are cracking down on international tax evasion and criminal activity. The J5 is made up of a group of investigators from Australia, Canada, the UK, US and the Netherlands. The group formed in mid-2018 and has been actively focused on bringing down worldwide tax evasion by working together and sharing information to quickly expose criminals attempting to hide funds offshore. The group is also utilizing the latest technologies to reduce cybercrime aimed at tax administrations and to uncover the latest crimes involving cryptocurrency.
The IRS boasts of the following results expected from the J5 on their website https://www.irs.gov/compliance/joint-chiefs-of-global-tax-enforcement :
The outcome of this active collaboration will see the J5:
- Enhance existing investigation and intelligence programs
- Identify significant targets for new investigations
- Improve the tactical intelligence threat picture now and into the future
- Lead the wider community in developing its strategic understanding of the methods, weaknesses and risks from offshore tax crime and cybercrime
- Raise international awareness that the J5 is working together to reduce transnational tax crime, cybercrime and money laundering, and create uncertainty for those who seek to commit such offenses.
In January 2020, the J5 instigated a day of action and enforcement against a financial institution located in Central America, where they used search warrants and subpoenas to gather evidence and conduct interviews against a worldwide money laundering scheme. This day of action was the result of an ongoing investigation of an intricate system used to hide money from criminal activity and other certain wealthy clients trying to avoid tax. The J5 considered this day of action a success and as a result expect to implement regulatory, criminal and civil action against those involved.
The J5 warns that through this new collaboration of multi-country investigators, tax evasion and financial crime will become more exposed and those offenders will eventually be caught and brought to justice.
Please consult a qualified tax professional if you have any questions or concerns with your foreign assets or other worldwide activity. This is general information and should not be relied on as tax advice.
Jill A. Helm, CPA