WHAT THE IRS MIGRATION DATA MEAN


The numbers behind the maps and stories in "Valley on the Move" come from a Sunday Gazette-Mail computer analysis of Internal Revenue 
Service data.  In addition to collecting taxes from citizens, the IRS keeps track of the county and state where taxpayers and their dependents say they live, and where they move. The IRS does not release data on any individual taxpayer, only the total numbers of people 
who moved.  This IRS migration data also tracks the average income of the taxpayers who leave or come into a county, called the median
 adjusted gross income, and the sum earning power of all those people, called the aggregate adjusted gross income.  The IRS data does not count all people. Not everybody files a tax return, especially seniors and people with low incomes. The 
  • umber of exemptions claimed by a taxpayer may not be the same as the
  •  
  • umber of people in that taxpayer's household. The loss of a spouse
  •  through divorce or death might not show up on one year's return, for instance.  The stories in "Valley on the Move" focus on the net gains or losses in Kanawha and Putnam County. Migration does not occur in only one direction. For example, the IRS data shows 916 taxpayers and their dependents moving from Putnam County to Kanawha County in tax year 1998-99 - not bad for Kanawha, except 1,309 taxpayers and dependents moved from Kanawha County to Putnam County, a net loss of 393.  This data can be ordered on the Web at www.irs.ustreas. gov/prod/tax_stats/soi/ind-cn tymig.html.  
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