Leaders of tax enforcement authorities from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States have established a joint operational group, the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5), to increase collaboration in the fight against international and transnational tax crime and money laundering.
The group will focus on building international enforcement capacity by sharing information and intelligence, enhancing operational capability by piloting new approaches, and conducting joint operations, to bring those who enable and facilitate offshore tax crime to account.
Membership of the J5 includes the heads of tax crime and senior officials from The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
This group formed in response to a call to action from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for countries to do more to tackle the enablers of tax crime. Successes, new approaches and findings from these joint efforts will be shared with the greater tax enforcement community.
At their first meeting last week, the J5 brought together leading experts in tax investigations and financial crime, cybercrime and big data analysts from each of the five member countries. Together they developed tactical plans and identified opportunities to pursue cyber criminals and enablers of transnational tax crime. The J5 will do this through the sharing of data and technology, conducting operational activity and taking advantage of collective capabilities. Each member country has committed to dedicating one full-time resource to the group, with the possibility of expanding to include additional part-time resources to support specific projects.
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All member countries look forward to continuing these discussions through regular quarterly conference calls, as well as at the next OECD Forum on Tax and Crime meeting in 2019.
Will Day, Deputy Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office, said:
“Recognising that tax crime crosses international borders, by participating in the J5, the ATO and ACIC can work with like-minded international tax administrations and law enforcement agency partners to build on our domestic activity and develop strategies to disrupt crime and better position Australia against emerging threats.”
Col Blanch, Executive Director Intelligence Operations, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission said:
“Financial crime occurs on a global scale with proceeds of crime transferred between jurisdictions. This is why we are committed to working with our domestic and international partners to proactively target offshore service providers and cybercriminals who specialise in targeting the financial sector.”
Johanne Charbonneau, Director General, Canada Revenue Agency said:
“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.”
Hans van der Vlist, General Director FIOD said:
“The unique thing about the J5 is the operational collaboration between five countries on tackling professional enablers that facilitate offshore tax crime, cybercrime and the threat of cryptocurrencies to tax administrations, as well as making best use of internationally available data and technology.”
Simon York, Director HMRC Fraud Investigation Service said:
“Tax crime and money laundering are becoming increasingly global and sophisticated, so it’s crucial we continue to work with international partners to tackle these threats. The formation of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) shows our commitment to leading that fight. Working together we are broadening the horizon of tax crime enforcement, making the world smaller for those seeking to exploit our systems and ensuring no one is beyond our reach.”
Don Fort, Chief of IRS-CI said:
“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. 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.”
Updates on ongoing J5 initiatives are expected in late 2018.
More information about J5 is available at www.irs.gov/J5.