Internal Revenue Bulletin:  2008-8 

February 25, 2008 

T.D. 9372

Disclosure of Return Information to the Bureau of the Census


DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Internal Revenue Service
26 CFR Part 301

AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final regulation.

SUMMARY:

This document contains a final regulation relating to the list of items of return information disclosed to the Bureau of the Census (Bureau). The regulation adds two items of return information for use in producing demographic statistics programs, including the Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE). The final regulation also removes four items that the Bureau has indicated are no longer necessary. This regulation facilitates the assistance of the IRS to the Bureau in its statistics programs and requires no action by taxpayers and has no effect on their tax liabilities.

DATES:

Effective Date: This regulation is effective on December 27, 2007.

Applicability Date: For dates of applicability, see §301.6103(j)(1)-1.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Glenn Melcher, (202) 622-4570 (not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Under section 6103(j)(1), upon written request from the Secretary of Commerce, the Treasury Secretary is to furnish to the Bureau of the Census (Bureau) return information as may be prescribed by Treasury regulations for the purpose of, but only to the extent necessary in, structuring censuses and conducting related statistical activities authorized by law. Section 301.6103(j)(1)-1 of the regulations further defines such purposes by reference to 13 U.S.C. chapter 5 and provides an itemized description of the return information authorized to be disclosed for such purposes.

This document adopts a final regulation that authorizes the IRS to disclose the additional items of return information that have been requested by the Secretary of Commerce in developing and preparing demographic statistics, including statutorily mandated Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE). The final regulation also removes certain items of return information that are authorized to be disclosed in the existing regulation but that the Secretary of Commerce has indicated are no longer needed.

The final regulation in this issue of the Bulletin amends the Procedure and Administration Regulations (26 CFR Part 301) relating to Internal Revenue Code (Code) section 6103(j)(1). The final regulation contains rules relating to the disclosure of return information reflected on returns to officers and employees of the Department of Commerce for structuring censuses and conducting related statistical activities authorized by law.

A notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-147195-04, 2005-1 C.B. 888 [70 FR 12166-01]) was published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2005. No comments were received from the public in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. No public hearing was requested or held. The proposed regulation is adopted by this Treasury decision.

Explanation of Provisions

As duly requested by the Secretary of Commerce and set forth in the proposed regulation, this final regulation permits disclosure to the Bureau of earned income and the number of Earned Income Credit-eligible qualifying children.

The regulation also removes four items of return information that the Bureau indicated it no longer requires. These items are: 1) end-of-year code; 2) months actively operated; 3) total number of documents and the total amount reported on the Form 1096 (Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns) transmitting Forms 1099-MISC (Miscellaneous Income); and 4) Form 941 (Employer’s QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return) indicator and business address on Schedule C (Profit or Loss From Business) of Form 1040. Accordingly, the regulation has removed these items of return information from those that may be disclosed to the Bureau.

Special Analyses

It has been determined that this Treasury decision is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to this regulation, and because the regulation does not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, the NPRM preceding this regulation was submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small businesses.

Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

Accordingly, 26 CFR Part 301 is amended as follows:

PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION

Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows:

Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

Par. 2. Section 301.6103(j)(1)-1 is amended by:

1. Revising paragraphs (b)(1) introductory text and (b)(3) introductory text, (b)(3)(xvii), (b)(3)(xviii), (b)(3)(xix), (b)(3)(xx), (b)(3)(xxi), (b)(3)(xxii), (b)(3)(xxiii), (b)(3)(xxiv), and (e).

2. Adding paragraphs (b)(1)(xvi) and (b)(1)(xvii).

3. Removing and reserving paragraph (b)(3)(xxv).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§301.6103(j)(1)-1 Disclosures of return information reflected on returns to officers and employees of the Department of Commerce for certain statistical purposes and related activities.

* * * * *

(b) Disclosure of return information reflected on returns to officers and employees of the Bureau of the Census. (1) Officers or employees of the Internal Revenue Service will disclose the following return information reflected on returns of individual taxpayers to officers and employees of the Bureau of the Census for purposes of, but only to the extent necessary in, conducting and preparing, as authorized by chapter 5 of title 13, United States Code, intercensal estimates of population and income for all geographic areas included in the population estimates program and demographic statistics programs, censuses, and related program evaluation:

* * * * *

(xvi) Earned Income (as defined in section 32(c)(2)).

(xvii) Number of Earned Income Tax Credit-eligible qualifying children.

* * * * *

(b)(3) Officers or employees of the Internal Revenue Service will disclose the following business-related return information reflected on returns of taxpayers to officers and employees of the Bureau of the Census for purposes of, but only to the extent necessary in, conducting and preparing, as authorized by chapter 5 of title 13, United States Code, demographic and economic statistics programs, censuses, and surveys. (The “returns of taxpayers” include, but are not limited to: Form 941; Form 990 series; Form 1040 series and Schedules C and SE; Form 1065 and all attending schedules and Form 8825; Form 1120 series and all attending schedules and Form 8825; Form 851; Form 1096; and other business returns, schedules and forms that the Internal Revenue Service may issue.):

* * * * *

(xvii) Principal industrial activity code, including the business description.

(xviii) Consolidated return indicator.

(xix) Wages, tips, and other compensation.

(xx) Social Security wages.

(xxi) Deferred wages.

(xxii) Social Security tip income.

(xxiii) Total Social Security taxable earnings.

(xxiv) Gross distributions from employer-sponsored and individual retirement plans from Form 1099-R.

(xxv) [Reserved].

* * * * *

(e) Effective/applicability date. This section is applicable to disclosures to the Bureau of the Census on or after December 27, 2007.

Linda E. Stiff,
Deputy Commissioner for
Services and Enforcement.

Approved December 18, 2007.

Eric Solomon,
Assistant Secretary of
the Treasury (Tax Policy).

Note

(Filed by the Office of the Federal Register on December 26, 2007, 8:45 a.m., and published in the issue of the Federal Register for December 27, 2007, 72 F.R. 73261)

Drafting Information

The principal author of this regulation is Glenn Melcher, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure & Administration).

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