The Internal Revenue Service announced agreements with 33 states and Puerto Rico to begin sharing information to ensure that money services businesses are complying with laws to report unusual cash transactions and other suspicious activities.

Passed in 1970, the Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to help the government prevent money laundering by keeping records on customers' cash purchases of negotiable instruments, file reports of daily cash transactions exceeding $10,000 and to report suspicious activity.

The IRS already has separate agreements with states for the exchange of tax information.

Money services businesses include non-bank financial institutions that provide services such as currency exchanges, check cashing, the issuance of traveler's checks or cash credit cards, and money transfers.

The new agreement will allow the agency and participating states to share enforcement leads and coordinate their efforts to make sure they are performing the necessary checks on the businesses without overlapping efforts.

Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Montana cannot enter into such agreements with the IRS, either because state law prohibits them from doing so, or they don't have the authority themselves to regulate the industry.

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