Australian officials tackle international cyber crime

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday June 6, 2019

Source: Getty Images

Senior officials from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have met in Washington, DC, this week to mark the one-year anniversary of the formation of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5).

Joining Australian leaders was the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD), Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), who together make up the J5.

The collaborative enforcement deals with cross-national tax crime threats including cyber crime, crypto-currency, and global tax evasion, while working to share intelligence and data.

Since its formation, J5 countries have opened new cases, rapidly developed existing cases in the enforcement process, and have found efficiencies to reduce the time it takes to work cases, according to the J5.

Deputy Commissioner of the ATO Will Day said he is pleased with the progress the J5 has made since its establishment.

“The collective intelligence available through the J5 is instrumental in enabling us to tackle serious and organised financial crime threats located in both Australia and offshore,” Day said.

The J5 is involved with more than 50 investigations involving “highly harmful” international enablers of tax evasion which were previously thought to be beyond the reach of member countries.

Cases involving money laundering, the smuggling of illicit commodities, personal tax frauds and evasion are also being collaborated on, and there have already been more data exchanged in the past year than the previous 10 years combined between J5 partner agencies.

The J5 also focuses on using platforms that enable each country to share information in an organised manner, without needing to surrender data or control to a central database.

Offshore evasion is an international issue that affects many countries and calls for international solutions, the J5 have said. 

The enforcement has taken the unprecedented action to revolutionise transparency internationally.

As a result of its leadership in this space, J5 countries are making it harder for people to dodge taxes by hiding their money abroad.

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