A new taskforce involving five countries’ taxation regulators was announced on Monday, July 5. The announcement by the Inland Revenue Service (USA) will aim to increase cooperation between the United States of America, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom in order to combat crimes committed using cryptocurrencies, specifically tax evasion.
Increased Spotlight on Crypto Use by Criminals
The move comes after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) put pressure on international governments to crack down on the ways criminals of all sorts are using cryptocurrencies to enable illegal activity.
More Capabilities for Law Enforcement and Investigation
The task force, which has been called the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement or J5, will see involvement from two U.S. state organizations: the IRS as well as the subsidiary Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). IRS-CI chief Don Fort, as per Forbes, stated that it would seek “to reduce the growing threat to tax administrations posed by cryptocurrencies and cybercrime [and] pressurize the global criminal community in ways we could not achieve on our own.” The same organization, recently, dedicated a 10-man team to tracking fraud involving cryptocurrencies.
Authorities Trying to Keep Abreast of Crime Syndicates
U.S. authorities have, for a long time, been scrutinizing cryptocurrencies as a means to catch lawbreakers. Cryptocurrencies were heavily involved in the efforts to jail Ross Ulbricht, who ran the darknet market Silk Road, as well in the prosecution of backpage.com that used cryptocurrencies as part of a 1.5 billion money laundering operation. The Department of Justice and the FBI have also been heavily involved with these sorts of investigations.
In recent years, many governments have restricted or banned the use of cryptocurrencies under the pretext of combating organized crime. In response, many commentators have welcomed regulation of the crypto domain, hoping that increased restrictions on money laundering possibilities would improve the legitimacy and reputation of the sector among mainstream markets.