The Internal Revenue Service and the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue said that they've established a new partnership to work together on common tax enforcement issues.

The VI BIR will work with the IRS to combat abusive tax avoidance transactions by sharing information and leveraging resources. The Virgin Islands joins 48 states, the District of Columbia and New York City on the list of tax agencies that have signed partnership agreements with the IRS.

The IRS said that the scope of the partnership is broader than its previous agreements, covering additional aspects such as the sharing of resources and coordination on issues involving income tax benefits under the Virgin Islands Economic Development Program. The two agencies said that they will coordinate examination activities of those claiming EDP benefits.

So far this year, the IRS said, it has shared leads with states and cities on roughly 35,000 taxpayers.

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