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Information for Respondents


The Annual Retail Trade Survey (ARTS) produces national estimates of total annual sales, e-commerce sales, sales taxes, end-of-year inventories, purchases, total operating expenses, gross margins, and end-of-year accounts receivable for retail businesses located in the United States.  The estimates are released approximately 12 months after the reference year has concluded.

Data generated from this survey are often used by government agencies, private businesses, and researchers.  For example, ARTS serves as a benchmark for the estimates produced from the Census Bureau's Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS).  Additionally, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) utilizes the estimates to derive industry output for the Input-Output accounts and for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  To view all of the data products stemming from ARTS, choose the "Data" option from the menu on the left.

Ready to Report or Need Assistance?

To report online:

  1. Sign in or register at https://portal.census.gov.
  2. Add your authentication code.
  3. Report by clicking on “REPORT NOW.”  You can return to your account over multiple sessions to complete the survey.
  4. For assistance completing this survey, please log-in to your Census Bureau account at https://portal.census.gov and send us a secure message or call the customer help line at 1-877-787-9860 (option 2), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. 
  5. Please visit How Do I Get Started? for additional information.
  6. Please visit How-To Video for information on Signing into the Respondent Portal, via your Census Bureau account.
  7. For survey specific information, please visit our FAQs.

Respondent Materials

To help you prepare for online reporting, click on the appropriate worksheets below.  (All worksheets are in Adobe PDF file format and are for informational purposes only.)  You may also view the letters sent to respondents about this survey by clicking on the links below.

Preview Survey Questions


Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Sections 131 and 182, authorizes this collection.  Sections 224 and 225 require your response.


The U.S. Census Bureau is required by Section 9 of Title 13 (United States Code) to keep your information confidential and can use your responses only to produce statistics.  The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify your business, organization, or institution.  Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data.

Survey Legitimacy

Below are a few things you can use to verify the legitimacy of this survey:

  1. Ensure the web address provided in the letter is a "census.gov" domain.
  2. Correspondence sent in the form of a letter or email will contain reporting instructions and a phone number for survey assistance.  Any email correspondence related to this survey will come from a census.gov address.
  3. On the sign-in screen, a warning message should be present stating the respondent is accessing a U.S. Government computer.
  4. After clicking on the “Report Now” button in the Respondent Portal, the OMB Number and OMB Approval Expiration information will appear in the upper right on all screens of the electronic reporting instrument.  The bottom of the screen should have a link for the “Burden Statement,” which also contains the OMB eight-digit number.

Page Last Revised - December 16, 2022
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