Internal Revenue Bulletin:  2006-38 

September 18, 2006 

Rev. Proc. 2006-36

Procedures for Requesting Special Statistical Studies and Compilations Involving Return Information


SECTION 1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this revenue procedure is to set forth the Internal Revenue Service’s procedures for other Government agencies or members of the public to request the creation of special statistical studies and compilations involving return information pursuant to section 6108(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, and to set forth the criteria for determining reasonable fees for costs associated with the creation of the special statistical studies and compilations.

SECTION 2. BACKGROUND

.01 Under section 6108(b), the IRS may, upon written request, create and produce special statistical studies and compilations involving return information (as defined by section 6103(b)(2)). In processing requests for special statistical studies and compilations, the IRS, pursuant to section 6108(c), will not disclose information that could, directly or indirectly, be associated with or identify a particular taxpayer. The IRS may charge a reasonable fee for the cost of work or services associated with making special statistical studies and compilations. The IRS will determine the amount of the fee as discussed below in Section 5.

.02 Definitions

  1. A “special statistical study” is an ad hoc statistical examination or analysis of return information that generally requires new programming and analysis according to specifications provided in the request. A special statistical study might comprise tabulations as well as accompanying reports on methodology and analytical details.

  2. A statistical “compilation” is an ad hoc accumulation of existing (or readily available) data into a data set or data file, which generally requires new programming according to specifications provided in the request. Both special statistical studies and compilations will be reviewed for accuracy by IRS staff before they are considered completed. The IRS staff, including clerical and computer programming personnel, will ensure, as reasonably practicable, the correctness of the special statistical study or compilation in conjunction with the original request.

  3. A special statistical study or compilation is not:

    1. statistical data contained in reports or releases already made available to the public, or

    2. statistical data that is readily reproducible. “Readily reproducible” means, with respect to electronic format, a record or records that can be downloaded or transferred intact to a floppy disk, compact disk (CD), tape, or other electronic medium using equipment currently in use by the office or offices processing the request. Records that require manipulation of data within a database or several databases, reprogramming one or more databases, or analysis of the data to produce the records, are not readily reproducible.

SECTION 3. PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING SPECIAL STATISTICAL STUDIES AND COMPILATIONS PURSUANT TO SECTION 6108(b)

.01 In general. Requests for special statistical studies or compilations (involving either new projects or changes in recurring projects) must be submitted in writing with specifications as complete and definite as practicable. Specifications that are concise and mutually understood by the requester and IRS are essential for a project’s successful completion. Specifications should include the source and availability of data and content, manner of presentation (e.g., particular medium or application) and timing of results (e.g., scheduling).

.02 All requests for special statistical studies or compilations must be addressed to the Director, Research, Analysis, and Statistics, at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue
Washington, DC 20224
Attention: RAS

The Director, Research, Analysis, and Statistics, will review all requests for special statistical studies or compilations and make a determination whether to grant or deny the request for such special statistical studies or compilations based on the considerations stated in paragraph 4.01 below. If a significant amount of resources is needed to accommodate a request, such determination will be made in consultation with the heads of the responsible IRS offices and, when Statistics of Income (SOI) resources are involved, the Director, Office of Tax Analysis, Department of the Treasury.

.03 If assistance is needed, IRS staff is available to help the requester in detailing the specifications. Consultations at initial stages, i.e., while planning by the requester is underway, may facilitate the undertaking of a special study or compilation. In some instances, initial consultation may reveal that an existing IRS product contains all the data necessary to fulfill the request. In addition, there is information available on the irs.gov website through the “Tax Stats” link. SOI’s Statistical Information Services Office may be reached by phone at (202) 874-0410 (not a toll-free number), by fax at (202) 874-0964, by email at SIS@IRS.GOV, or by mail at the address given in paragraph 3.02 above.

SECTION 4. AVAILABILITY OF SPECIAL STATISTICAL STUDIES AND COMPILATIONS

.01 The fulfillment of requests submitted pursuant to this Revenue Procedure will be subject to: staff availability and workload (including the potential impact on studies required by the Office of Tax Analysis), the complexity and/or magnitude of the request, the impact on tax administration, software capabilities, database configurations and equipment functionalities, and disclosure considerations. A request will be declined if the IRS determines at the time of the initial request that the special statistical study or compilation could reveal return information or other confidential information the disclosure of which is not required by law and no reconfiguration of the request can avoid disclosure of return information or other non-disclosable data.

.02 If the configuration of a completed special statistical study or compilation may result in the disclosure of return information, or produce other confidential information the disclosure of which is not required by law, the IRS will inform the requester and offer to discuss with the requester, to the extent practicable, possible reconfigurations of data to avoid the prohibited disclosure. If the special statistical study or compilation cannot be reconfigured, the requester will be so informed and the special statistical study or compilation will not be released.

.03 In general, the IRS will consider whether to grant or deny requests for special statistical studies and compilations in the order of receipt.

SECTION 5. DETERMINATION OF FEES

.01 Fees will be charged for a special statistical study or compilation. These fees will be determined in accordance with prevailing Government standards, but in no case will work be done before a cost estimate is provided to the requester and, if accepted, a reimbursable agreement entered into between IRS and the requester.

.02 Fees are based on the actual, full cost of providing the product or service. “Full cost” includes all direct and indirect costs to any part of the IRS of providing the special statistical study or compilation. These costs include, but are not limited to:

  1. direct costs such as computer costs, salaries, management and supervisory costs;

  2. indirect personnel costs such as fringe benefits, e.g., medical insurance and retirement (generally assessed at a percentage of direct salary costs); and

  3. physical overhead, consulting, and other indirect costs such as material and supply costs and utilities.

.03 The IRS may charge fees for any costs incurred during the processing of an accepted request for special statistical studies and compilations, even if no special statistical study or compilation is ultimately disclosed.

SECTION 6. EFFECTIVE DATE

This revenue procedure is effective September 18, 2006.

SECTION 7. DRAFTING INFORMATION

The principal drafter of this revenue procedure is A. M. Gulas of the Office of Chief Counsel, Procedure and Administration (Disclosure and Privacy Law Division). For further information regarding this revenue procedure, contact A. M. Gulas at (202) 622-4560 (not a toll-free number).


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