HMRC is doubling down on crypto tax evaders starting February 2020 as it is offering a contract worth £100,000 for software that can identify when cryptocurrency is used to avoid paying taxes.
The tax office recognises in a statement that the payment options made available by crypto can be used for tax evasion and money laundering.
"Crypto-assets, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, provide a means to transfer value between interacting parties. These services are increasingly used for a range of purposes, from international money transfers, sales of digital services, paying staff and tax evasion and money laundering".
These services are increasingly used for a range of purposes, from international money transfers, sales of digital services, paying staff and tax evasion and money laundering"
According to the contract posted by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the organization is seeking a tool that will "support intelligence gathering methods" for identifying and clustering cryptoasset transactions and linking to their service providers.
Specifically, HMRC is looking for a tool which, at a minimum, would help track seven digital assets - bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BTC), ether (ETH), ether classic (ETC), XRP, litecoin (LTC) and Tether (USDT) stablecoin.
HMRC would also prefer a tool that could develop the ability to track privacy-oriented coins such as Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and Dash (DASH), per the report.
HMRC's newly updated tax guidelines toward crypto-related activities note that most crypto asset operations are "taxable economic activity." This includes cryptocurrency mining as well as buying, selling, and exchanging a digital asset for another type.
In the US, regulators such as the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have been working with the IRS to tackle money laundering and tax evaders as well. In 2016, an affadavit revealed that HSI created a special task force to identify unlicensed bitcoin exchangers.