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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently sent representatives from its Criminal Investigation unit to meet with tax authorities from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to discuss their current collaborative method to fight tax evasion on a global scale. According to a recent report in Accounting Today, the meeting was designed to help encourage further coordination of “information, intelligence and operations to combat transnational tax criminals.”

A representative from the meeting stated he expected the group, referred to as J5, to find huge success in 2020 and that “criminals will not know what hit them.”

J5 in action: Group takes down international tax evasion enterprise

Thus far, the group has found success. The global organization took on a tax evasion enterprise run out of South America through an unidentified financial institution in January of this year.

Authorities with J5 state it aims to continue to overcome the secrecy that enables these schemes to thrive by sharing information and working together to thwart future tax evasion efforts.

Reality of the efforts: Allegations of wrongdoing may increase

The push for collaboration could result in an increase in investigations of foreign accounts and potentially lead to a jump in allegations of tax fraud.

Anyone that finds themselves accused of tax fraud or attempting to hide assets overseas is wise to take the matter seriously. If the government can support the claim, the accused could face steep financial penalties as well as potential imprisonment. An attorney experienced in foreign assets and tax issues can review the details of the allegations and discuss possible courses of action.