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First major action for J5 international tax enforcement group

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The joint chiefs of global tax enforcement (J5) – an alliance of tax authorities from the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, United States and Australia – carried out their first major operational activity on 22 January. The J5 was formed in 2018 in response to a call from the OECD for greater international cooperation to tackle tax crime.

A series of investigations centred on a Central American financial institution, believed to be facilitating tax evasion and money laundering across the globe. According to HMRC, action in the UK targeted proceeds amounting to over £200m. These operations are said to have gathered significant information, with further criminal, civil and regulatory action is expected to follow in each country. See

Andrew Sackey, partner at Pinsent Masons, commented: ‘The first J5 day of action has been more than just a tentative proof of concept. J5 partners have clearly mined a great deal of information to coordinate and deliver a global response that, in the UK alone, targeted suspected tax evasion and money laundering believed to total £200m. Their ambition however was greater still, investigations have been launched into an international financial institution located in Central America, whose products and services are believed to be facilitating money laundering and tax evasion for customers across the globe; the J5 is therefore targeting the system - the corporates who are believed to have enabled the evasion, and the individual taxpayers who avail themselves of unlawful services.’

‘The nature and scope of this activity is a demonstration of intent, and J5 partners will be emboldened by the apparent success of this first action and it’s more critical than ever for corporates to ensure their governance procedures are fit for purpose’, Sackey added. 

Issue: 1473
Categories: News