WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) co-hosted a three-day International Criminal Tax Symposium in Washington, D.C. January 27 – 29, 2015. The symposium focused on combatting offshore tax evasion and international financial crimes—including cyber-crime—and brought together delegates from criminal tax and enforcement programs from Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Recognizing the increasing trends in sophisticated tax evasion and other financial crimes crossing international borders, the symposium participants discussed best practices and methods of effective investigations as well as other strategies to combat emerging issues. The delegates focused on four key areas including combatting beneficial ownerships and the use of shell companies, transnational organized crime, combatting offshore tax evasion and refund crimes and repayment fraud.
Combating international financial crimes is a top priority for all of the participating countries and each actively pursues offshore tax evaders, promoters and financial institutions involved in hiding income and assets offshore. Currently, many countries coordinate through international and interagency task forces, exchange of information methods, joint investigations and other formal and informal methods of international cooperation. The symposium delegates discussed further enhancements to this international collaboration moving forward.
“The IRS continues to enhance its international efforts through a number of strategies working with international law enforcement and actively participating in a number of international financial task force groups. We will continue our recent successes in international cases, following the money across the world to bring criminals to justice,” said Richard Weber, Chief, IRS-Criminal Investigation. “Those who believe they can cross international borders to commit financial crimes will find that they have far fewer places to hide.”
“HMRC is committed to tackling tax crimes through international collaboration and ensuring there is no safe haven for the proceeds of crime,” said Richard Summersgill, Director, HMRC Criminal Investigation. “The world is becoming a much smaller place for those who want to hide themselves and their assets behind anonymous corporate structures.”