WASHINGTON -- Municipal market participants strongly support the Internal Revenue Service's new attempts to beef up its tax-exempt bond enforcement program, but worry it may not be effective, at least initially, in targeting and putting a halt to abusive transactions.

The new program was unveiled by the IRS on June 14 after the General Accounting Office concluded in a report that the prior enforcement program focused mostly on abuses that occurred years ago and lacked centralized management, overall objectives and adequate resources. The old program had been carried out by the examinations division, the main enforcement arm of the IRS.

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