The IRS just launched an international coalition to investigate cryptocurrency tax crime

A general view of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington

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A general view of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington
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Thomson Reuters

  • On Monday, the IRS launched a joint, international effort to investigate cryptocurrency-related tax crimes and money laundering.
  • Titled the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5), the coalition includes government agencies from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • J5 was formed in response to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s request for an international effort to curb tax crime.

The Internal Revenue Service is taking an international approach to cryptocurrency-related crime.

In response to a request by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to reduce tax crime, the IRS formed the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5), a coalition between five countries aimed at investigating cryptocurrency crimes, including tax fraud and money laundering.

J5 includes agencies from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, as well as the IRS. The agencies will both share information and conduct investigations together, in an effort to “reduce the growing threat posed to tax administrations by cryptocurrencies and cyber crime,” the IRS said.

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.

Don Fort, chief of IRS-CI, explained the decision for an international effort to Forbes:

“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,” Fort said. “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.”