SOI Tax Stats - Papers - 2003 American Statistical Association Conference


This section contains papers written by members of the Statistics of Income Division of IRS, and others, and presented at the 2003 Joint Statistical Meetings of the American Statistical Association.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the authors and are not necessarily the official positions of the Internal Revenue Service.

Citations are included in the papers. For more information about a paper, please send us an email message.

These papers have also been included in Special Studies in Federal Tax Statistics—2003 PDF, Publication 1299. The printed report is available by contacting SOI's Statistical Information Services office at

All papers are available as PDF files. A free Adobe Acrobat reader is available for download, if needed.


Accumulation and Distributions of Retirement Assets, 1996–2000—Results from a Matched File of Tax Returns and Information Returns PDF
Peter Sailer and Kurt Gurka, Statistics of Income, IRS, and Sarah Holden, Investment Company Institute. November 2003.
With nearly $4.0 trillion invested in IRAs and 401(k) plans at year-end 2003, these retirement savings vehicles represent a significant component of Americans’ financial security. Taxpayers holding IRAs and
401(k) accounts cover a wide range of ages and incomes. This paper provides a glimpse at the rich detail available from the IRS SOI sample of tax returns and information returns (focusing in detail on 1999).

An Analysis of the Distribution of Individual Income and Taxes, 1979–2001 PDF
Michael Strudler and Tom Petska, Statistics of Income, IRS, and Ryan Petska, Quantitative Economics and Statistics, Ernst and Young LLP. December 2003.
The paper contains a summary of the measure of individual income derived as a “retrospective concept” from individual income tax returns, results of the analysis of time series data, and conclusions with examination of Gini coefficients computed from these data. It is the fifth in a series examining trends in the distribution of individual incomes and tax burdens based on a consistent and comprehensive measure of income derived from individual income tax returns. In this paper, the analysis of individual income and tax distributions is continued, adding for 3 years (1979, 1989, and 1999) social security and Medicare taxes to this analysis.

Comparing Scoring Systems From Cluster Analysis and Discriminant Analysis Using Random Samples PDF
William Wong and Chih-Chin Ho, Statistics of Income, IRS. December 2003.
Currently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calculates a scoring formula for each tax return anduses it as one criterion to determine which returns to audit. The IRS periodically updates this formula from a stratified random audit sample. In 1988, such an audit sample was selected. The sample was used to derive a new scoring formula. This score is one of the criteria used to determine whom to audit.

IRS Seeks to Develop New Web-Based Measurement Indicators for PDF
Diane M. Dixon; Statistics of Income, IRS. November 2003.
Serving customers and improving customer satisfaction within the diverse customer base of the IRS is a difficult task that the IRS is fully committed to. IRS has utilized several tools, including focus groups and customer surveys to understand the successfulness of the website. In order to assess satisfaction on a large scale, the IRS has learned that understanding the underlying web activity is the key to designing a website that meets its customers’ needs.

Recent Efforts to Maximize Benefits from the Statistics of Income Advisory Panel PDF
Tom Petska and Beth Kilss, Statistics of Income, IRS. December 2003.
For over 15 years, the Statistics of Income (SOI) Division of the IRS has had a Consultant’s Panel consisting of distinguished group of individuals from academia, nonprofit organizations, State and local government, and the private sector. This paper is a progress report on how SOI has solicited greater involvement from its Panel members, what has been accomplished to date, and what approaches and initiatives are being planned for the future.

Regulatory Exemptions and Item Nonresponse PDF
Paul B. McMahon, Statistics of Income, IRS. December 2003.
The regulations referred to in the title are those governing the filing of tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. Some of the rules for filing the various forms permit item non response if some set of conditions is met. For example, one need not report itemized deductions when claiming the Standard Deduction on the Individual Income Tax Return.

Statistical Information Services at IRS: Improving Dissemination of Data and Satisfying the Customer PDF
Beth Kilss and David Jordan, Statistics of Income, IRS. December 2003.
This paper provides an overview of SOI efforts to improve and expand data dissemination and includes background information about the SOI Division and its Statistical Information Services (SIS) office, recent improvements to SOI’s web site, and innovations in data dissemination through the web site, the SIS office, and news releases. Additionally, results from a recent survey of SIS customers are presented, and how SOI is using these results to identify problem areas and improve customer service are also described.

The Effects of Tax Reform on the Structure of U.S. Business PDF
Ellen Legel, Kelly Bennett, and Michael Parisi, Statistics of Income, IRS. December 2003.
This paper is an examination of the changes in business demographics or “business organizational choice” of the various types of business during the 1990’s and the changes in the historical trend from the 1980 period. Tax data will be used to focus on changes in the various business types, receipts, profitability, and tax rates over two recessions due to modifications in the tax code on administrative records sampled at Statistics of Income (SOI) Division of IRS.

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