On January 17, Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC), which is the tax agency in the UK, published a job ad for a software engineer. According to the job ad, HMRC is looking to hire a private contractor to create a crypto and blockchain analysis tool. For their troubles, the tax agency is willing to pay them 100 thousand pounds, which is around 130 thousand US dollars.
Crackdown on Crypto
Governments globally have been trying to track down holders of crypto to ensure that they are paying their taxes. In the US, the IRS has been quite effective at tracking down thousands of people who may not have fully declared their earnings in the crypto sector.
The UK has also been going down the same path. In November 2019, they published guidelines for businesses operating in the crypto sector. The HMRC has said that those who own crypto should pay tax. However, the rules are still not clear on how crypto holders should pay tax. Despite this lack of clarity, HMRC is still going to crack down on those who do not pay taxes.
Details of the Contract
HMRC is ready to hire a software engineer to develop its blockchain analysis tool for £100K. The contractors can work remotely from any part of the world. This contract will run from January this year up to February next year. It states that Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise contractors are not eligible. However, small and medium enterprises are eligible. This tool will aim to boost the intelligence-gathering capabilities of the tax authority.
The ad emphasizes that HMRC would love to have a tool that can analyze dash, monero, and zcash. These privacy coins have proven quite hard to track. Besides that, the contractor will have to provide secondary training to government employees, which will allow them to learn how to use the tool. Once the contract is concluded, the contractor will be paid via Ariba, HMRC’s dedicated payment portal.
As expected, the person who applies for the contract will have to fill out a lengthy questionnaire related to security. According to the job application, crypto assets are being used for money laundering and tax evasion. As a result, this tool should be able to help them deal with these problems.
HMRC is not the only one trying to track down monero and zcash transactions. A while back, the Department of Homeland Security published a solicitation letter looking for an analyst to help them with tracking zcash and monero.
The deadline for submitting proposals is on January 27. This shows that the tax collector is serious about enforcing crypto tax payments in the UK. Being willing to pay $100K for a single analysis tool shows that it believes the sector has the potential to contribute a great deal to government revenues. Besides that, it indicates the tax authority takes the issue of financial crime using crypto seriously and it intends to stop it.
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