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Outlays are payments made (generally through the issuance of checks or disbursement of cash) to liquidate obligations.
The issuance of checks, disbursement of cash, or electronic transfer of funds made to liquidate a federal obligation. Outlays also occur when interest on the Treasury debt held by the public accrues and when the government issues bonds, notes, debentures, monetary credits, or other cash-equivalent instruments in order to liquidate obligations. Also, under credit reform, the credit subsidy cost is recorded as an outlay when a direct or guaranteed loan is disbursed. An outlay is not recorded for repayment of debt principal, disbursements to the public by federal credit programs for direct loan obligations and loan guarantee commitments made in fiscal year 1992 or later, disbursements from deposit funds, and refunds of receipts that result from overpayments.
Outlays during a fiscal year may be for payment of obligations incurred in prior years (prior-year obligations) or in the same year. Outlays, therefore, flow in part from unexpended balances of prior-year budgetary resources and in part from budgetary resources provided for the year in which the money is spent.
- Direct Spending / Mandatory Spending (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Discretionary / Discretionary Spending (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Monthly Treasury Statement
- Obligation (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Chapter 7.C. The Congressional Budget Resolution; in Congressional Procedure
Discretionary and mandatory outlays of the US Federal Government
- Combined Statement of Receipts, Outlays, and Balances, Current Report – Treasury
- Statistical Abstract: Federal Gov’t Finances & Employment: Federal Budget–Receipts, Outlays, and Debt – Census Bureau
- Historical Tables – OMB
- Distortions versus Outlays – Sallie James
- “Federal Spending by Agency and Budget Function, FY2001-FY2006,” CRS Report RL33228 (20-page PDF)
- “Trends in Discretionary Spending,” CRS Report RL34424 (52-page PDF)
- “The Largest Spending Programs in the Federal Budget: FY2002 Outlays Over $10 Billion,” CRS Report 98-319 (3-page PDF)
- “Federal Spending Programs Exceeding $10 Billion in Outlays in FY2006,” CRS Report RS22426 (3-page PDF)
- “Proposed and Actual Budget Totals for the Fiscal Years 1980 Through 2001,” CRS Report RS20034 (8-page PDF)
- “Savings in Mandatory Outlays in Selected Reconciliation Acts,” CRS Report RS22277 (8-page PDF)
- “Medicare Primer,” CRS Report R40425 (47-page PDF)
- “Interest Payments on the Federal Debt: A Primer,” CRS Report RS22354 (11-page PDF)
Expenditures Versus Expenses | Governmental Accounting | CPA exam FAR
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