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  • Detecting offshore tax evasion

    You may have read about our investigative work in one of the biggest data leaks in history – the Panama Papers. We identified approximately 1,400 Australian taxpayers in the data leak and found that 600 of these taxpayers had previously come forward to advise us of their tax position and took steps to ensure they had met their obligations to the community. We are continuing to assess the remaining taxpayers for compliance. As at 31 December 2018, our work resulted in $83m in liabilities raised and over $26m in cash collected.

    Data leaks are not our sole source of information, we detect and investigate tax crime using intelligence sourced from:

    • tax treaties
    • reports from advisers
    • the community and collaborative taskforces.

    We are members of the Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration (JITSIC) network and the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5). JITSIC is one of the most significant forums bringing together 38 of the world's tax administrations to actively collaborate on finding ways to counteract and address tax avoidance. The focus of the J5 is on identifying and prosecuting professional enablers and facilitators of offshore tax crime, cybercrime and cryptocurrency fraud. J5 members include:

    • the Australian Taxation Office and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (Australia)
    • Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (United Kingdom)
    • Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations (United States)
    • the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (Netherlands)
    • the Canadian Revenue Agency (Canada).

    We also undertake joint operations with domestic law enforcement agencies sharing intelligence, experience and capabilities to detect, deal with and counteract offshore tax evasion and other forms of tax crime. This collaboration has assisted us in identifying and taking legal action against taxpayers who deliberately engage in tax evasion by moving their money offshore to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

    See also:

    Last modified: 14 Feb 2019QC 57903