Since the passage of CIPSEA, additional data-sharing programs have been undertaken and, based on the agency presentations at the workshop, others are in the planning stages.
The administration has not actually submitted its version of the “companion legislation.” According to agency representatives, the Joint Committee on Taxation has attempted to develop its own version, but it has not met agency needs (there also seem to be different opinions as to whether the Treasury Department supports the legislation).
To expand the use of data sharing in the absence of passage of companion legislation, there should be a comprehensive review of IRS Publication 1075, which sets the rules that determine the extent of data sharing under Section 6103 by the IRS and the CIPSEA-designated agencies. This review could result in changes in the rules that might further facilitate data sharing within the provisions of Section 6103 (current rules were not developed in conjunction with the agencies, and there is no public record of the underlying legal interpretations).
Discussions have taken place between the Census Bureau and BLS about developing a single business register for employer firms (for which both agencies have data), perhaps in time for the 2007 economic censuses. Although the current business comparison project will yield a substantial amount of information about current differences, BLS and the Census Bureau presented no plans on how this information might be used to develop a unified business register (because of problems with various state laws, it may be necessary for BLS to maintain a separate national register as the sample frame for its establishment surveys).
Following up on the fourth point, Parker suggested that IRS and the statistical agencies could work to clarify the rules governing what the Census Bureau is permitted to do with data, such as those indicating business names and addresses, which, at the time they are received, are considered federal tax information. The Census Bureau must reenter the information on another form and send it to businesses for verification to become sharable data under CIPSEA. Because the IRS has never published legal interpretations explaining how they went from Section 6103 to these regulations, Parker suggested that the agencies and the IRS might collaborate to see whether or not current regulations are appropriate or necessary and provide input on what can be done to make it easier to convert tax information into Title 13 information.
Parker also reflected on Carol Corrado’s presentation, particularly her point that maintaining two different establishment lists is unnecessary and counterproductive. Parker noted that the comparison project has a seemingly infinite research agenda, but that nothing concrete was presented by the BLS and Census Bureau presenters about producing a single