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2012 Economic Census

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Completing Your Forms

11.  When is my form due?

February 12, 2013

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12.  Why is my form so long?

We designed your 2012 Economic Census form to request only the minimum information needed to meet the many uses of the Economic Census. At the same time, your form was designed to apply to the many different businesses that make up your industry, so not all of the items or lines on the form will apply to your business.

  • Needed information. Economic Census forms include questions about employment, payroll, output, activity, and other topics to meet the many uses of the data. Census form content was developed in consultation with industry representatives, data users, and other statistical agencies. The final census forms were reviewed and approved for use by the Office of Management and Budget.
  • Improved forms. Economic Census forms were designed to make them easier to read and complete. Some changes such as increased white space also added to form length. Other changes include using letter-size format to ease copying and filing, and providing more check-box choices to simplify responses.
  • Burden estimates. Your Census form includes an estimate of the time needed to complete the form. This is the average time we estimate for a company to complete your industry-related census form. Our estimates are based on field tests, company interviews, and data collection experience.

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13.  What information is requested?

We request census information for each domestic location of your company that operated during part or all of calendar year 2012. For each separate operation, we request information to identify it, summarize its operations, and highlight its key activities. We also request that the company representative responsible for completing the census forms be identified and sign the completed form.

  • Separate locations. We provide separate census forms, and request separate information for each operating location. Information by location allows us to produce high quality statistics for each industry and local geographic area.
  • 2012 operations. We request information for any location that operated at any time during 2012, including new, acquired, seasonal, and discontinued operations that closed after December 31, 2011. These data are necessary to profile where, how, and how much our economy is changing.
  • Identifying information. We request information to identify each of your operating locations, including its name, address, physical location, and Employer Identification Number (EIN) to assure complete and accurate census statistics and to document economic growth and change for local geographic areas.
  • Operating summary. We request information to summarize the operating status of each location; this may include its months of operation, type of operation, class of customer, method of selling, end-of-year status, and ownership. We need this information to profile how well our diverse industries are working and changing.
  • Key activities. We request information to detail key business activities, including costs and expenses, receipts or revenues, and selected topics (such as assets, inventories, or floor space). We need this information to gauge economic performance.

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14.  Can I use estimates?

Please provide your best estimate for any applicable item on your census form that is not available in your business records. We find that estimates from businesses are more reliable than estimates we might make and greatly increase the reliability of published statistics. Please do not leave any applicable item blank. If you do make estimates, please identify and explain them in the Remarks section available on most forms (after Item 29).

  • Available records. Two census items were previously reported on IRS Form 941 and should be available in your business records. These items are the number of employees for the March 12 pay period and first quarter (January-March) payroll before deductions.
  • Unavailable information. We do not expect you to incur extra expense to obtain information not available in your records. Examples of data that is not available include information that simply does not exist, is available only on a company-wide basis, cannot be retrieved with reasonable effort, or is not comparable to the census request. Please provide your best estimates for any information that is not readily available from your records.
  • Fiscal year estimates. If your fiscal year is not the calendar year, you can use your fiscal information to make calendar year estimates, or to substitute for most calendar year items, if it would be substantially the same as calendar year information. Please report employment and payroll for the calendar year.
  • Best estimates. Any information that you estimate for the census must be "substantially accurate." This means it must reflect your best available business information, operating experience, and management judgment.
  • Estimating assistance. If you have questions about using available business records or developing estimates to complete your census forms, please consult the information available on this Business Help Site or contact staff.

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15.  Can I report on a fiscal year?

Please use the space provided on your form (Item 30) to describe the business period covered by your 2012 Economic Census report. If your fiscal year or other business period is the same as the calendar year, mark "Yes." If your fiscal year differs from the calendar year, mark "No" and report the starting and ending dates of your period in the space provided. Please report employment and payroll for the calendar year.

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16.  My business activity is non-stationary (e.g., truck driver, cleaning service), and I do not operate at a single physical location. How do I report for Item 2 - Physical Location?

Please provide the mailing address used by this business. Please do not provide a P.O. Box or Rural Route address, since these are not sufficient for assigning a geographic area code.

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17.  What if I am a nonprofit organization?

You must complete your census form and return it to the Census Bureau. Nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, including nonprofit educational organizations, are included in the 2012 Economic Census. Company selection is based on the primary activity an establishment performs, without regard to an organization's profit objectives, ownership, tax status, or other organizational characteristics.

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18.  What if I am no longer in business?

If your business operated at any time during calendar year 2012, please complete all applicable items on the 2012 Economic Census form and return it to the Census Bureau. Include data to identify the business, and describe its months of operation, primary activity, end-of-year operational status, and any successor owners. However, if your business did not operate at any time during 2012, please fill out Item 3 and return the form.

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19.  What if I am a private household?

If you conducted only household activities at your home during 2012, please note that in the Remarks section (after Item 29), and return the 2012 Economic Census form to the Census Bureau. Household activities are activities needed to operate your private residence, such as housecleaning, babysitting, gardening, and home maintenance (and include the employment of persons to help you with those activities). However, if you conducted any business activities at your home in 2012, please complete all applicable items on your Economic Census form, and return it to the Census Bureau.

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20.  What if my business headquarters is in another country?

The 2012 Economic Census includes all business activity taking place in the United States. Domestic activities of businesses with foreign owners are included in the Economic Census. Foreign operations of U.S.-owned businesses should not be included.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | EC2012 BHS Team |   Last Revised: March 31, 2016 23:18:57