Trust Fund / Trust Fund Accounts
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Funds collected and used by the Federal Government for carrying out specific purposes and programs according to terms of a trust agreement or statute, such as the Social Security trust funds.
Accounts designated as “trust funds” by law, regardless of any other meaning of the term “trust fund.” A trust fund account is usually either a receipt, an expenditure, or a revolving fund account. Except in rare circumstances (for example, Indian Trust Funds), a trust fund account imposes no fiduciary responsibility on the federal government. For a fuller discussion of trust funds, see Federal Trust and Other Earmarked Funds: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (95-page PDF). (See also Earmarking.)
Trust Fund Expenditure Account. An appropriation account established to record appropriated amounts of trust fund receipts used to finance specific purposes or programs under a trust agreement or statute.
Trust Fund Receipt Account. A receipt account credited with collections classified as trust fund collections. These collections are recorded as either governmental receipts or offsetting receipts.
Trust Revolving Fund Account. A trust fund expenditure account that is an appropriation account authorized to be credited with collections and used, without further appropriation action, to carry out a cycle of business-type operations in accordance with statute.
Fiduciary funds | Agency Funds | Trust Funds | CPA exam FAR | Governmental Accounting course
- “Social Security: The Trust Funds,” CRS Report RL33028 (26-page PDF)
- “Social Security: What Would Happen if the Trust Funds Ran Out?,” CRS Report RL33514 (25-page PDF)
- “Federal Trust Funds and the Budget,” CRS Report R41328 (21-page PDF)
- “Forest Service Accountability in Administering Its Trust Funds,” CRS Report RS20486 (8-page PDF)
- “Transportation Trust Funds: Budgetary Treatment,” CRS Report 98-63 (34-page PDF)
- “The Unemployment Trust Fund (UTF): State Insolvency and Federal Loans to States,” CRS Report RS22954 (16-page PDF)
- “Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation,” CRS Report R44674 (30-page PDF)
- “Overview of Funding Mechanisms in the Federal Budget Process, and Selected Examples,” CRS Report R44582 (48-page PDF)
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