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From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms


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Amounts received by the federal government during the fiscal year. Collections are classified into three major categories: (1) governmental receipts (also called budget receipts or federal receipts), (2) offsetting collections, and (3) offsetting receipts.

Governmental receipts result from the exercise of the government’s sovereign powers. Offsetting collections and receipts result from businesslike transactions with the public or transactions between appropriated activities. Offsetting collections and offsetting receipts are recorded as offsets to spending. They are offsetting collections when the collections are authorized by law to be credited to expenditure accounts. Otherwise, they are deposited in receipt accounts and called offsetting receipts.

For further discussion, see “Federal Receipts” or “Federal Receipts and Collections” in the Analytical Perspectives of the President’s budget. (See also Account in the President’s Budget; Off-Budget; On-Budget; Revenue; and Federal Receipts 1901 to 2011 (chart).)



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