Tax permission rates1
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Prior to reference year 2004, there were two interviews every year: in January the interview was about activities such as working, going to school, looking for work or retirement. The second interview in May was about income, but wasn't necessary if the respondent gave Statistics Canada permission to obtain the required data from tax records. The tax source should provide consistent data of high quality and so a high permission rate should ensure good quality survey income estimates. The respondent was asked for this permission at the end of the January interview. If permission was not given, the respondent was contacted again in May. At this time the respondent was once again asked if he/she would prefer to give permission to access tax records. If permission was not provided, the interview proceeded. Starting in reference year 2004, permission was asked only once, in January. If it was not provided, the interview continued immediately with the income questions.
Figure 6.1 shows permission rates by panel over the years for the survey. The option to give tax permission was given for the first time in the May collection for the 1994 reference year. Prior to this, all income data were collected through interview. Percentages in figure 6.1 are based on the number of respondents over the age of 15 who are cross-sectionally eligible. Permission from the respondent is obtained once and for the entire panel life duration. Therefore, the cumulative effect of the permission rate may hide the effort deployed yearly at collection stage to obtained permission from the new respondents.
Figure 6.1 Annual Permission Rate by Panel
Figure 6.2 below shows the permission rates for respondents that did not give permission to access their fiscal data last year and have given it this year and also new eligible respondents (over 15 at the reference year) that have given their permission. Starting in 1996, we notice a peak every 3 years. This peak corresponds to the introduction of a new panel. We also note that the rate was very low in 2000. This corresponds to the first reference year that the May interview was not conducted.
Figure 6.2 First time permission rates
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