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US Dept of Commerce - US Census Bereau - Enforceable?

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    US Dept of Commerce - US Census Bereau - Enforceable?

    My business clients bring me notices from the US Dept of Commerce regarding Surveys that need to be filed. The notices read "Your response is required by law". One example is the 2019 Annual Retail Trade Survey. I've called the Dept to ask about the repercussions of not filing the report. I cannot get a straight answer. Instead I'm advised to contact my congress person. My guess is that the govt is not enforcing the filing of these surveys. Just curious of how other practitioners are handling this type of situation.

    #2
    https://www.federalregister.gov/docu...siness-surveys

    I am not a lawyer so I am not going to advise my client on the enforcement provisions.

    The Federal register does state that response is mandatory. I think the best answer is that your client should seek competent legal counsel.
    Taxes after all are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society. - FDR

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      #3
      The link that ATSMAN provided mentions Section 224 of Title 13, which imposes a penalty of up to $500 ($10,000 for intentionally giving a false answer).

      https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/13/224

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        #4
        I have told my biz clients (including myself) that the surveys are mandatory and carry penalties. The short form survey is not a big deal. The long form sent to random businesses is very invasive as well as tedious, but I've done it. There is a recent Covid survey that states it is optional; I have not done that one and told clients who ask that it is optional.
        Last edited by Lion; 09-17-2020, 09:09 AM.

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          #5
          Just to digress for a moment, I think we all get asked to comment or advise on issues that don't relate to tax planning or tax preparation. When i was young, I wanted to be the "answer man" and tried to do research or ask my contacts for answers to impress my clients. Now if it is not in my line of work, I simply tell them to seek appropriate counsel. In today's litigious environment, one wrong answer and you are being sued!
          Taxes after all are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society. - FDR

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