IRS News Release  
February 15, 1989

75 Years of the IRS Statistical Program

A special commemorative volume to mark the first 75 years of the IRS statistical program has been released by the Internal Revenue Service. The Fall 1988 issue of the quarterly Statistics of Income Bulletin (SOI) provides annual income, financial, and tax data based on tax returns. The first publication for the anniversary year contains a series of articles on statistics of income previously published in the Bulletin. The topics are:

  • International income and taxes;
  • individual income and taxes (includes historical statistics beginning with 1913);
  • corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships;
  • tax-exempt organizations; estate, gift, and fiduciary returns; and selected excise taxes.

One article contains a history of how statistics are obtained from tax returns emphasizing current methods; while another shows how SOI data are utilized in Treasury Department tax models to evaluate the effectiveness of current law and to develop proposals for revising it, and the kinds of data needed to improve these models.

A section on selected historical data, 1944-1988, includes tables on historical and current financial statistics from the various tax returns and supporting schedules filed with the IRS. The series are the most significant data condensed from the annual SOI publications based on individual and corporation income tax returns. Also included are data comparing income and profits reported on tax returns with the amounts used in computing the Gross National Product; as well as data on unincorporated businesses, quarterly tax collections and refunds, and the projected number of returns to be filed over the next few years.

The content of this report should be a useful reference source for those with an interest in tax return statistics, their users and uses.

The Statistics of Income Bulletin is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The annual subscription rate is $16 for 4 issues; a single issue costs $6. An order blank is attached. Other statistical information services can be obtained by writing to the Director, Statistics of Income Division, Internal Revenue Service TR:S, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20224.

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