Matches of Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration Data with Census Survey Data (Joint SSA/Census Statistics Development Project), SSA/ORES

Effective Date: August 1, 2000 
(65 F.R. 46997)


System number: 60-0148

System name:  

Matches of Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration Data with Census Survey Data (Joint SSA/Census Statistics Development Project), SSA/ORES

Security classification:  


System location:

Social Security Administration 
Office of Systems Operations
6401 Security Boulevard 
Baltimore, Maryland 21235
Social Security Administration 
Office of Research 
Evaluation and Statistics 
6401 Security Boulevard 
Baltimore, Maryland 21235
Social Security Administration 
Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics 
9th Floor, ITC Building 
500 E Street, S.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20254-0001
Bureau of Census 
Suitland, Maryland 20233

Categories of individuals covered by the system: 

Samples of United States population.

Categories of records in the system: 

Basic demographic characteristics from Census survey‑labor force, work experience and income items from the survey; SSA earnings information; benefit record information (e.g., title II Disability Insurance benefit applicant records and Supplemental Security Income benefit information); basic demographic data from SSA records such as date of birth; and selected IRS tax return items.

Authority for maintenance of the system: 

Sections 1110 and 1115 of the Social Security  Act; and Title 13 U.S.C. 182 for Census participation.


This system contains linked statistical files created since 1967 under an SSA/Census Bureau interagency agreement.  Internal uses include the 1973 Exact Match Study which links survey records for persons in the 1973 Current Population Survey (CPS) to their respective earnings and benefit information in SSA's administrative records and IRS income tax returns. Earnings and benefit records are linked to the Survey of Income and Program Participation survey panels of 1984, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1996 and to the National Longitudinal Survey of Women.  The linked micro-data are used for statistical analysis and micro-simulations in economic research on tax and transfer programs and for policy evaluation. 

These data files are used as the basis of micro-simulations of tax and transfer programs.  These micro-simulations provide policy‑makers with information about the costs and effects of proposed changes in the Social Security tax and benefit structures and in the Federal income tax program.  Some of the CPS matched files have been used to estimate the number of non-filers and the magnitude of the effects of noncompliance with IRS and SSA regulations.  The files have also been used to determine the characteristics of persons who participate in SSA programs.  Certain statistical linked files have been edited for release to the public.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses: 

Disclosure may be made for routine uses as indicated below: 

1.     (Through the Census Bureau) to a congressional office in response to an inquiry from that office made at the request of the subject of a record.  Tax return information may be disclosed only when expressly authorized by the Internal Revenue Code.

2.    Non-tax return information which is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law may be disclosed to the General Services Administration (GSA) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for the purpose of conducting records management studies with respect to their duties and responsibilities under 44 U.S.C. § 2904 and § 2906, as amended by NARA Act of 1984.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining and disposing of records in the system: 


Records are stored on magnetic media and in paper form. 


Records are indexed by SSN during the matching steps at SSA and Census but identifiers are not retained at SSA after matching is completed.


Safeguards are established in accordance with the Systems Security Handbook.  Employees having access to records have been notified of criminal sanctions for unauthorized disclosure of information about individuals.

During those matching steps which occur at SSA, identifiable data is solely under the control of a limited number of SSA employees who are required to uphold the Census and IRS statutes as well as the confidentiality restrictions of SSA.  Similar provisions are made for the handling of identifiable data from the project at the Census Bureau.  Contractors provide storage of and remote terminal access to files which do not carry identifiers.

Magnetic tapes or other files with personal identifiers, are retained in secured storage areas accessible only to authorized personnel.  Microdata files prepared for purposes of research and analysis are purged of personal identifiers and are subject to procedural safeguards to assure anonymity.  (See Appendix G for additional information relating to safeguards SSA employs to protect personal information.)

Retention and disposal: 

Following the match, all identifiers are removed from the records kept at SSA.  The Census Bureau retains identifiers for possible longitudinal updating.

Records with identifiers are held in secure storage areas at the Census Bureau and will be disposed of as soon as they are determined to be no longer needed for Census or SSA analysis. Means of disposal will be appropriate to the record storage medium, e.g., erasure of tapes, shredding of printouts, etc.

As long as identifiable records exist, a periodic review is made at least every 2 years to determine the need for their retention.

System manager(s) and address: 

Associate Commissioner 
Office of Research 
Evaluation and Statistics  
Social Security Administration 
6401 Security Boulevard 
Baltimore, Maryland 21235

Notification procedure: 

This system contains limited data selected for statistical analysis.  Individuals inquiring about their records in SSA programs should consult other SSA systems of records which contain more detailed information. An individual can determine if this system contains a record about him/her by writing to the systems manager(s) at the above address and providing his/her name, SSN or other information that may be in the system of records that will identify him/her.  An individual requesting notification of records in person should provide the same information, as well as provide an identity document, preferably with a photograph, such as a driver’s license or some other means of identification, such as a voter registration card, credit card, etc.  If an individual does not have any identification documents sufficient to establish his/her identity, the individual must certify in writing that he/she is the person claimed to be and that he/she understands that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense.

If notification is requested by telephone, an individual must verify his/her identity by providing identifying information that parallels the record to which notification is being requested.  If it is determined that the identifying information provided by telephone is insufficient, the individual will be required to submit a request in writing or in person.  If an individual is requesting information by telephone on behalf of another individual, the subject individual must be connected with SSA and the requesting individual in the same phone call.  SSA will establish the subject individual’s identity (his/her name, SSN, address, date of birth and place of birth along with one other piece of information such as mother’s maiden name) and ask for his/her consent in providing information to the requesting individual.

If a request for notification is submitted by mail, an individual must include a notarized statement to SSA to verify his/her identity or must certify in the request that he/she is the person claimed to be and that he/she understands that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense.  These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR § 401.40). Records with identifiers maintained at the Bureau of Census are considered by Census to be exempt from access.

Record access procedures: 

Same as notification procedures. Except in transitory stages of preparation, files at SSA do not have personal identifiers, and cannot be located on an individual basis. These procedures are in accordance SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c).

Contesting record procedures:  

Same as notification procedures. Requesters should also reasonably identify the record, specify the information they are contesting and state the corrective action sought and the reasons for the correction with supporting justification showing how the record is untimely, incomplete, inaccurate or irrelevant. These procedures are in accordance SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.65(a)).

Record source categories: 

Records in this system are derived from other SSA systems (e.g., the Earnings Recording and Self‑ Employment Income System (60‑0059) and Master Beneficiary Record (60‑0090)); IRS tax income returns; and Census surveys.

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act: