It is pretty rare to see countries come together to work on a new policy in a uniform manner. Unless of course their objectives are financial, then it seems everyone is happy to work with anyone in pursuit of financial gain. Yesterday afternoon, a new super group named ‘J5’ was launched, in order to bring together the tax enforcement efforts of Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Within this, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and Australian Taxation Office, the Canada Revenue Agency, the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation will be working together to build an international level enforcement against crime relating to tax and money laundering. Of course, cryptocurrencies will be a keen focus for J5 as a result of this.
According to an announcement made by the IRS:
“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. At their first meeting last week, the J5 brought together leading experts in tax and other financial crimes 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.”
Furthermore, according to Will Day, the Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Taxation Office:
“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.”
Likewise, Simon York, the Director of HMRC Fraud Investigation has 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 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.”
J5 are expected to outline some official announcements later in the year, though we should expect these sooner, rather than later.
You can see the full IRS statement, here- https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/j5-media-release-7-2-18.pdf
So, what does this mean for cryptocurrency?
As it stands, we can’t be sure. At the very least though, we expect J5 to announce some regulations regarding cryptocurrency for the purposes of tax in their own representative countries (Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA). Moreover, with so many world powers driving the J5 movement, we do expect their findings and announcements to be used to inform similar authorities across the world. Actually, the implications of this could be huge, assuming they take a negative stance towards cryptocurrencies at least.
Of course, we could very well see J5 see cryptocurrency in a positive light. Indeed, it seems likely considering what we know about the countries involved. For now, we can’t even begin to imagine which direction this will take, however as it stands we are certain that this could bring some big news for cryptocurrencies. Whether it’s good news or bad news, at the moment, that’s totally up for debate.
For now, we will keep an eye on J5 and any sudden announcements that they make.