Congress has enacted legislation (Title 13) which requires the completion of the forms we sent your company. In this law, the Census Bureau cannot excuse your company from filing.
Yes. No one outside of the Census Bureau is entitled to view your report. Title 13 of the United States Code provides complete protection for all reported information. Census forms, including copies retained by respondents, are immune from legal action. Also, Federal law specifically exempts the reports from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
Your response is required by law. Title 13, United States Code, requires businesses and other organizations that receive this questionnaire to answer the questions and return the report form to the Census Bureau. For more information on Title 13, please see the Legal Information page.
A full text, searchable version of Title 13 is available.
The penalties under Title 13, United States Code are:
Individual reports are seen only by sworn Census Bureau employees and only for the purpose of developing statistical totals and summaries. Census publications provide no information about an individual firm's operations.
Any request for survey information from the Census Bureau will be clearly identified as coming from the U.S. Census Bureau and as OFFICIAL BUSINESS of the United States.
It is a Federal offense for anyone to pretend they represent the Census Bureau, or any other office of the United States Government. Section 912 of Title 18, U.S. Code, states the following:
"Whoever Falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."
Census Bureau surveys look different from other surveys, and we provide information that will help you in answering the census or survey.
When you are in a Census Bureau business survey, we will tell you, generally by letter:
You can also look for certain things if we send a questionnaire to your business.