NU Online News Service, Sept. 16, 2003, 3:02 p.m. EDT – The Internal Revenue Service says it has formed a nationwide partnership with 40 states and the District of Columbia to fight what it calls “abusive tax avoidance.”

Under agreements with individual states, the IRS will share information about tax-avoidance transactions and the taxpayers who participate in them, the IRS says.

The states that have joined the partnership include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

More states are expected to sign the agreement in the weeks ahead, the IRS says.

New York City also has joined the program.

The program will focus solely on “abusive tax avoidance transactions,” and it leaves procedures governing communication about routine taxpayer compliance efforts unchanged, the IRS says.