Sacramento, Calif. (July 17, 2003) -- California and federal tax authorities pledged to root out abusive tax shelters as part of a nationwide crackdown on the schemes, which have cost both local and federal governments billions of dollars.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, California is one of many states expected to sign a new cooperation agreement with the IRS to share information about alleged tax shelter abusers.

"This is a state where we see a lot of scams and schemes," said Dale Hart, commissioner of the IRS' Small Business/Self-Employed Division in Washington, during a California symposium on the topic.

California has apparently suffered more than any other state from illegal shelter activity, and is currently facing an estimated $38 billion budget shortfall.

California lost as much as $1.3 billion in tax revenue in 2001 due to tax sheltering by major corporations, according to a study released Tuesday by the Multistate Tax Commission, a Washington group of state financial officials.

That's twice as much as the state previously believed.

-- WebCPA staff

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