The Australian’s Taxation Office prosecutes tax evaders using cryptocurrencies

The Australian’s Taxation Office (ATO) is starting to prosecute tax evaders, who resort to cryptocurrencies. According to the Deputy Commissioner of ATO, Will Day, tax evasion through cryptocurrencies is no longer non-punishable, especially since the foundation of the The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement  organization (J5).

The J5 organization represents a cross-border tax enforcement organization, fighting against organized crime. The J5 is a pack between Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Netherlands and the USA. The primary function of the organization is investigation of transnational tax crimes via offshores and cryptocurrency schemes.

Heads of tax crime and senior officials from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), the UK`s Her Majesty Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Austrlian Criminal Intelligence Comission (ACIC), the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD), the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and the United States Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), are all supporting the J5 operations.

In 2018, the J5 was concerned with over 60 investigations. The data disclosed through the same period between each one of the 5 member countries was reported to be several times higher than the data shared between the countries` governments for the last 10 years.

The ATO Commissioner revealed that criminals use more advanced and sophisticated methods for money-laundering and tax evasion purposes than ever before. Day and his team at the ATO have been actively involved in 12 joint investigations, with a single investigation being done on a “global financial institution”. The intel about the financial institution was that allegedly the same organization attempted hiding income details and bank account activities of their customers.  

The tax evasion related activities from the 2014-15 financial year shows figures that are mesmerizing. Over $6 billion of taxes were due to be paid to the Australian government, and interestingly, just a small amount of the total sum was collected by the government, clearly displaying the need for stricter rules and regulations.


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