New Resources for Microdata-Based Tax Analysis

Technical Paper

New Resources for Microdata-Based Tax Analysis

Abstract

The Statistics of Income (SOI) Division of IRS prepares a publicly available file, the Public Use File, from its annual sample of income tax returns. The PUF is a critical data source for tax policy analysis. To insure taxpayer confidentiality, SOI applies disclosure avoidance procedures to the PUF. In 2012, SOI established a Working Group to perform an in-depth review of these procedures and of the analytical usefulness of the PUF. This paper describes the revised PUF design recommended by the Working Group, and how the design changes improve both disclosure avoidance and the PUF’s analytical usefulness.

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