Offsetting Receipts (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Offsetting Receipts

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Collections that are offset against gross outlays but are not authorized to be credited to expenditure accounts. Offsetting receipts are deposited in receipt accounts. Like offsetting collections, they result from (1) businesslike transactions or market-oriented activities with the public, (2) intragovernmental transfers, and (3) collections from the public that are governmental in nature but required by law to be classified as offsetting receipts.

Offsetting receipts are offsets to gross budget authority and outlays, usually at the agency or subfunction level, but some are undistributed and are offsets to budget authority and outlays in the aggregate.

Unlike offsetting collections, offsetting receipts cannot be used without being appropriated. Trust fund offsetting receipts are permanently appropriated and, therefore, can be used without subsequent annual appropriation legislation. (See Permanent Authority under Timing of Legislative Action under Budget Authority; Trust Fund Receipt Account under Trust Fund Accounts under Account in the President’s Budget.) The Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended by the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA) of 1990, defines offsetting receipts and collections as negative budget authority and the reductions to it as positive budget authority. (See also Offsetting Collections; Reimbursement.)

Offsetting receipts are collections credited to general fund, special fund, or trust fund receipt accounts. They offset gross outlays at the agency or Government-wide level and may be distributed or undistributed. Distributed offsetting receipts offset the outlays of the agency, while undistributed offsetting receipts offset Government-wide outlays. Typically, distributed offsetting receipts offset the outlays of the agency that conducts the activity generating the receipts and the subfunction to which the activity is assigned. This line item on the SBR (19C) should include all distributed offsetting receipts for the agency. (Refer to OMB Circular A-136, Financial Reporting Requirements.)

Offsetting Governmental Receipts is a term used by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to designate receipts that are governmental in nature (e.g., tax receipts, regulatory fees, and compulsory user charges) but are required by law to be classified as offsetting.

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