U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Chapter 1500 New Account Establishment, Updating Accounts, and Description of Accounts Relating to Financial Operations

New Account Establishment, Updating Accounts, and Description of Accounts Relating to Financial Operations

Introduction

This chapter describes accounts relating to the government's financial operations. The Department of the Treasury (Treasury), Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) establish, assign, and maintain the accounts and reporting attributes for entities. 

Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbols (TAFS) are the cornerstones for reporting the government’s financial transactions. Within the Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS), Fiscal Service classifies accounts such as receipt or expenditure and assigns them to a fund group based on their characteristics, as well as the nature of the transactions supported.

 

Section 1510—Scope and Applicability

This chapter describes accounts that are to be used by Federal Program Agencies (FPA) for financial operations.

Section 1515—Authority

Title 31 United States Code 3513 prescribes authority to the Secretary of the Treasury to organize the accounting functions and procedures and financial reports to develop an effective and coordinated system of accounting and financial reporting that integrates and consolidates the accounting results of the federal government.

Section 1520—Terms and Definitions

For terms and definitions related to this chapter, please view the TFM Glossary.

Section 1525—Establishing New Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbols (TAFS)

Fiscal Service establishes TAFS which includes assigning titles, fund groups, and fund accounts. TAFS represent individual appropriation, receipt, and other fund accounts for entities and bureaus.

This section describes the processes for the following:

  • Establishing a New Program/Fund (Main Account)
  • Establishing a New Period of Availability for an Existing Program/Fund
  • Establishing a New Custodial Account

Entities should submit all account action requests as early in the month as possible. Due to the multi-level approval process, allow 5 to 7 business days for new account establishment once the completed form has been received for proper analysis, verification, and approval. Additionally, delays may occur during open reporting windows such as from business day three to business day eight of each month.

Forms are linked in each section as well as listed at the end of the chapter. Forms can also be requested from baasgroup@fiscal.treasury.gov.

1525.10—Establishing a New Program/Fund (Main Account)

Contact your OMB representative (see OMB Circular No. A-11, Section 79.4a) to reserve the account.

Next, submit a completed Treasury Account Action Request form signed by the appropriate agency personnel to baasgroup@fiscal.treasury.gov.

1525.20—Establishing a New Period of Availability for an Existing Program/Fund

Accounts may be established either

For new account actions pursuant to Interagency Agreements, submit completed form FS Form 000111 referencing the Period of Performance (POP) in the business justification section for BAAS to validate the creation of the Period of Availability (POA).

For specific guidance related to establishing accounts per the Economy Act refer to guidance published in OMB Circular No. A-11, Section 130.9.

1525.30—Establishing New Custodial Accounts

In some cases, the custodial agencies are receiving collections into a TAFS that already exists. In others, there is no TAFS in which the custodial agency can currently record the custodial collection and subsequent disposition. In these cases, it is the objective of Fiscal Service to work with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to utilize a portion of the current clearing account series (F3600 – F3699) to facilitate reporting custodial activity between two federal entities (one of which is not the General Fund).

For new custodial clearing accounts related to custodial collections for a TAFS other than the General Fund of the U.S. Government:

  1. Agency requests permission to receive a custodial account and provides the type of activity that the account will be reporting.
  2. The Intra-governmental Transaction and Reconciliation Branch will review the request.
  3. If approved, a "New Custodial TAS" form will be returned to the requesting entity for review and signature.
  4. The entity will submit the completed, signed form which includes proposed accounting scenarios.
  5. The form will be submitted to the Director of Financial Reports and Advisory Division for approval.
  6. If approved, a copy of the signed form will be sent to all parties as well as to OMB.
  7. When BAAS receives the form, the entity will be requested to submit completed form FS Form 000109 to baasgroup@fiscal.treasury.gov

to establish the new custodial clearing account.

Section 1530—Additional TAFS Requests

This section describes the processes for the following:

  • Federal Appropriation Symbols and Titles (FAST Book)
  • Amending Accounts
  • Requesting additional BETCs for Reporting
  • Suspending Accounts
  • Re-Activating Closed Accounts

In general, allow 7 to 10 business days for additional TAFS requests.

1530.10—Federal Appropriation Symbols and Titles (FAST Book)

Fiscal Service, in collaboration with OMB and the relevant administrative entity establishes and assigns, amends, suspends, unsuspends, discontinues, and re-activates account symbols and titles.

Active, available accounts are collected and published in the FAST Book which is updated periodically throughout the year. For questions about accounts published in the FAST Book, reach out to baasgroup@fiscal.treasury.gov.

1530.20—Amending Accounts

From time-to-time amendments may be necessary to accounts. Amendments to accounts can be initiated based on requests received from agencies or determined to be necessary during the annual appropriation process according to legislation.

Below are some examples of amendments an agency may request:

  • Title Change per legislation
  • Fiscal Organization or Bureau changes

Entities must submit a completed Treasury Account Action Request (FS Form 000110) signed by the appropriate agency personnel to the baasgroup@fiscal.treasury.gov

1530.30—Requesting additional BETCs for Reporting

The TAS/BETC combination provides for detailed financial reporting capabilities. A complete listing and additional BETC guidance is available on the SAM website.

 

Entities must submit a completed Treasury Account Action Request (FS Form 000112) signed by the appropriate agency personnel to the baasgroup@fiscal.treasury.gov. Business justification is required to be included on the form.

BAAS routes the request form for approval to different areas in governmentwide accounting as necessary: Cash Accounting Branch, General Fund Accounting Branch, Budget Reporting Branch, and others as necessary. Once all concur, the BETC will be added to the TAFS as requested.

 

1530.40—Suspending Accounts

Suspend dates are placed on accounts as requested by the agency. Suspended accounts are still available for use but provide a soft edit before transactions can post. Suspended accounts are considered active and must be reported in GTAS. Generally, the legal citation of 31 USC 3513 is used to suspend an account. A previously suspended account can also be unsuspended.

Below is a list of potential reasons why an agency may request to suspend an account.

  • To avoid unwanted activity that would impact the account,
  • When the entity desires to close an account that has a zero balance but did have activity within the last two fiscal years for indefinite period availability accounts (X or no year), or
  • If the account has not reached its 5‐year cancellation date for definite period of availability, suspending the account prevents any unwanted activity until the account is able to be closed by law.

Entities must submit a completed Treasury Account Action Request (FS Form 000109) signed by the appropriate agency personnel to the BAAS atbaasgroup@fiscal.treasury.gov. Business justification is required to be included on the form.

1530.50—Re-Activating Closed Accounts

Reactivation of discontinued accounts is rare and typically involves legal concurrence.

The following are possible reasons why an account may be reactivated:

  • There has been a miscommunication within the entity.
  • The entity was not aware that it would receive funding in the appropriation bill for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • The entity has been working with OMB to create a backdated transaction in the backdated OMB MAX database.

Entities must submit a completed Treasury Account Action Request (FS Form 000109) signed by the appropriate agency personnel to the BAAS at baasgroup@fiscal.treasury.gov. Business justification is required to be included on the form.

If the re-activation is for an allocation (child) account, the agency will need to work with the parent agency to submit a re-activation form. Both the parent and allocation (child account) will need re-activated simultaneously.

Section 1535—Fund Account Descriptions

Fiscal Service and OMB classify transactions within fund groups by categorically assigning numeric or alphanumeric account/symbols (or combinations thereof). Fiscal Service assigns account symbols to entities after considering the government’s relationship to the accounts such as the source of the receipts and the availability of the funds.

This section describes the following:

  • Clearing, Default, and Custodial Accounts
  • Consolidated Working Fund Accounts
  • Management Fund Accounts
  • Revolving Fund Accounts
  • Special Fund Expenditure Accounts
  • Trust Fund Expenditure Accounts
  • Trust Revolving Fund/Trust Non-Revolving Fund
  • Allocation Accounts

1535.10—Clearing, Default, and Custodial Accounts

Fiscal Service establishes clearing, default, and custodial accounts. An "F" preceding the four-digit main identifies these accounts. The clearing and default accounts temporarily hold unidentifiable general, special, or trust fund collections that belong to the federal government until being classified to the proper receipt or expenditure account by the receiving entity. Refer to TFM Volume I, Part 2, Chapter 5100 "Fund Balance with Treasury Accounts" for additional information.

Custodial Accounts, a special type of clearing account introduced in FY 2019, are a subset of clearing accounts used for custodial collections on behalf of a TAFS other than the General Fund of the U.S. Government. Clearing and default accounts consist of the "3500-3885" series fund group preceded by the three-digit agency identifier. Entities should use the following accounts:

  • Budget clearing account (suspense), __F3875, to temporarily credit unclassified transactions from the public when there is a reasonable presumption that the amounts belong to their entities,
  • Undistributed Intra-governmental Payment account, __F3885, to temporarily credit unidentified or unclassified transactions between federal entities, including Intra-governmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) transactions, and
  • Custodial clearing account, _F36XX, to temporarily hold funds collected as well as account for accruals and transfers related to funds collected on behalf of a TAS other than the General Fund of the U.S. Government.

Although all three of the above-described accounts are under the category of clearing and default accounts, it should be noted that unlike the other accounts, custodial clearing accounts are not expected to close in the same manner nor are these accounts subject to the same scoring processes as the other accounts. For example, while the custodial clearing accounts will be required to have a zero balance in USSGL 101000 Fund Balance with Treasury, they could have balances in accrual-related USSGL accounts that carry over from month-to-month or year-to-year. As such, they will not be graded in the same way as clearing and default accounts.

1535.20—Consolidated Working Fund Accounts

Fiscal Service establishes consolidated working fund accounts to receive (and subsequently disburse) advance payments from other entities or bureaus through provisions of law.

1535.30—Management Fund Accounts

Fiscal Service establishes management fund accounts, which are working fund accounts authorized by law, to facilitate accounting for the administration of intra-governmental activities other than a continuing cycle of operations.

1535.40—Revolving Fund Accounts

Fiscal Service establishes revolving fund accounts to record funds authorized by specific provisions of law to finance a continuing cycle of business-type operation. The receipts are credited directly to the revolving fund as offsetting collections and are available for expenditure without further action by Congress. Fiscal Service classifies the receipts as:

  • Public enterprise funds where receipts come primarily from sources outside the government, or
  • Intra-governmental funds where receipts come primarily from other appropriations or funds.

1535.50—Special Fund Expenditure Accounts

Fiscal Service establishes to record amounts appropriated from special fund receipts. Entities may expend these receipts for special programs according to specific provisions of law.

1535.60—Trust Fund Expenditure Accounts

Fiscal Service establishes to record amounts appropriated from trust fund receipts. Entities may expend these receipts for specific purposes or programs according to the terms of a trust agreement or statute.

1535.70—Trust Revolving Fund/Trust Non-Revolving Fund

Fiscal Service establishes when a statute authorizes such funds. The period of availability may determine whether they are revolving or non-revolving (see subsection 1540.45).

1535.80—Allocation Accounts

Fiscal Service establishes to be used to receive and subsequently obligate and disburse allocations treated as non-expenditure transfers. These accounts carry symbols identified with the original appropriation from which monies were advanced. An allocation account is symbolized by adding the receiving entity's three-digit agency identifier in front of the original appropriation or fund account symbol. A bureau sub-account may be used to identify that the transfer is to a particular office or bureau within the receiving department. For example, 014 020 X 1234.010 represents a transfer of funds that was initially appropriated to entity 020 (Treasury) and allocated to Bureau 10 (National Park Service) within entity 014 (Interior).

Section 1540—Receipt Account Classification

Receipt accounts fall within the following categories: governmental or budget, proprietary, and intra-governmental. Governmental or budget receipts arise from the sovereign and regulatory powers unique to government. Proprietary receipts are derived from market-oriented or business-like activities. Intra-governmental receipts are payments from one government account to another. Normally, receipt account symbols consist of seven digits, except for receipt clearing accounts and available receipt accounts.

This section describes the following:

  • Fund Groups and Major Classes of Receipt Accounts
  • General Fund Receipt Accounts
  • Special Fund Receipt Accounts
  • Trust Fund Receipt Accounts
  • Available Receipts
  • Unavailable Receipts

1540.10—Fund Groups and Major Classes of Receipt Account 

For additional detail on the types of receipts, refer to OMB Circular No. A-11, Section 20.7. Fiscal Service classifies receipt accounts and assigns symbols by fund groups and major classes as follows:

Fund Group

 

General fund Receipt Accounts:

Major Class

Taxes

0100

Customs duties

0300

Gains resulting from government participation

0400

Debt held by the public principal

0500

Receipts from monetary power

0600

Fees for regulatory and judicial services

0800

Fines, penalties, and forfeitures

1000

Restitutions, reparations, and recoveries under military occupation

1100

Gifts and contributions

1200

Interest

1300-1400

Interest on advances for unemployment

1500

Dividends and other earnings

1600

Rent, including bonuses

1800

Royalties

2000

Sale of products

2200

Fees and other charges for services and special benefits

2400

Sale of government property

2600

Negative subsidies and downward re-estimate of subsidies

2670-2799

Realization upon loans and investments

2800–2900

Recoveries and refunds

3000

Custodial clearing accounts

3600

Clearing and default accounts

3500-3885

Special fund receipt accounts

5000–5999

Trust fund receipt accounts

8000–8999

1540.20—General Fund Receipt Accounts

Fiscal Service establishes general fund receipt accounts which are not classified as dedicated collections as defined by law for a specific purpose. General fund receipt accounts are available to all agencies. For legal authority guidance reach out to the baasgroup@fiscal.treasury.gov for assistance with standard authorizing codes such as 31 USC 3513 and 31 USC 3302.

1540.30—Special Fund Receipt Accounts

Fiscal Service credits special fund receipt accounts with receipts from specific sources collected by law for specific purposes. At the point of collection, these receipts either are available immediately or unavailable for expenditures depending upon statutory requirements.

1540.40—Trust Fund Receipt Accounts

Fiscal Service credits trust fund receipt accounts with receipts generated by the terms of a trust agreement or statute that designates a fund as a trust fund. At the point of collection, these receipts either are available immediately or unavailable for expenditure, depending upon statutory requirements, the terms of the trust agreement, and other provisions of law (see subsections 1545.20 and 1545.30).

1540.50—Available Receipts

Available receipts are special or non-revolving trust fund receipts that, pursuant to law, are available as appropriations to a single entity for expenditure without further congressional action. An available receipt account carries the same attributes as its corresponding expenditure account.

The following is an example of the numbering scheme generally associated with available receipts:

Three-digit entity identifier (AID)

020–(Treasury)

Account symbol

8790

Sub-numbers

001 (Gifts and Bequests)
002 (Earnings on Investment)

1540.60—Unavailable Receipts

Unavailable receipts are receipts that, at the time of collection, are not appropriated and not immediately available for expenditure. This is because Congress has limited the amount available for expenditure.

Unappropriated receipts held in special and non-revolving trust fund receipt accounts are unavailable for expenditure until appropriated pursuant to specific legislative provisions.

Section 1545—Expenditure Account Classification

This section describes the following:

  • Fund Groups for Expenditure Accounts
  • Identifying the Period of Availability
  • General Fund Expenditure Accounts

1545.10—Fund Groups for Expenditure Accounts

Expenditure account symbols consist of eight or more digits. The three-digit agency identifier (AID) represents the entity responsible for the account. The period of availability for obligation is represented by four digits for the year or an ‘X’ for no year (indefinite period of availability). The main program/fund is represented by four digits which identify the specific account by fund group.

Fiscal Service classifies expenditure accounts and assigns symbols by fund groups as follows:

Fund Group

Major Class

General fund

0000–3899

Management and consolidated working funds

3900–3999

Revolving funds

 

Public enterprise

4000–4499

Intra-governmental

4500–4999

Special fund

5000–5999

Deposit fund

6000–6999

Trust non-revolving fund

8000–8399 and 8500–8999

Trust revolving fund

8400–8499

1545.20—Identifying the Period of Availability

The Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbol (TAFS) designates the period of availability for incurring obligations as follows:

  • Annual Appropriations: Budget authority that is available for obligation during only one fiscal year or less. Annual appropriations are identified within the TAFS using four digits to indicate the fiscal year of availability for incurring obligations (012 2023 0117).
  • Multiple Year Appropriations: Budget authority which all or a portion of the amount is available for obligation for multiple fiscal years for a definite period. Multiple year appropriations are identified within the TAFS using four digits for the beginning period of availability (first year available to obligate) and four digits for the ending period of availability (last year available to obligate) (012 2023 2025 0117).
  • No-year appropriations: Budget authority which all or a portion of the amount is available until expended. The funds are available for obligation without limitation on the period of availability. No-year appropriations are identified using an 'X' to indicate that the appropriations are available for obligations for an indefinite period of time (012 X 0117).

The following example illustrates the various parts of a TAFS for Buildings and Facilities for the Department of Agriculture:

Three-digit agency identifier (AID)

012 – Department of Agriculture

Period of availability

2023 (available for obligation only for one fiscal year)
2023 2025 (available for obligation across multiple fiscal years) X (available for obligation without limitation on the period of availability, also known as no year funding)

Fund group (program name, main account)

0117 – Building and Facilities

1545.30—General Fund Expenditure Accounts

Fiscal Service establishes general fund expenditure accounts to record amounts appropriated by Congress for the general support of the government.

Section 1550—Deposit Fund Accounts

Fiscal Service establishes to record deposits and disbursement of monies that do not belong to the federal government. Deposit funds are a liability in the government’s central summary general ledger since those assets do not belong to the government. These funds are not intended to be used as an operating account or budget account as defined in OMB Circular A-11 Sec 20.11(f). Amounts that are donated to the federal government are deposited in a special or trust fund account (OMB Circular A-11 Sec 20).

The deposit fund account (liability) classification is proper for any account that meets one of the following three criteria:

  • Monies withheld from government payments for goods and services received. Entities may treat this transaction as a deposit fund liability only when they have charged a budget account and the government is holding the funds pending payment (for example, payroll deductions for savings bonds or state income taxes).
  • Monies the government is holding awaiting distribution based on a legal determination or investigation. This category includes monies in dispute (between the government and outside parties) where ownership is in doubt and there is no present basis for estimating ultimate distribution.
  • Deposits received from outside sources for which the government is acting solely as a banker, fiscal agent, or custodian. This includes certain cash and investments held outside of Treasury. Also, refer to Volume I, Part 2, Chapter 3400, for additional information.

Ordinarily, a negative balance in a deposit fund would not result in an Anti-Deficiency Act violation. However, if a federal disbursing officer over-disburses a deposit fund, the disbursing officer must consult with that entity's legal counsel to determine if an Anti-Deficiency Act violation should be reported. Deposit funds are not covered in the Treasury and do not become public money. Therefore, they can be expended without an appropriation. A negative balance in any account is an adverse position which should be assessed by the entity with their legal counsel.

1550.10—Proper Classification and Reporting

To maintain accountability, entities must establish separate deposit fund accounts to hold non-government monies for individual statutory authorizations or programs. Deposit funds, which are for monies not owned by the federal government, are not included in the federal budget. If an entity is uncertain about the ownership of monies, it should ask its Treasury and OMB contacts for guidance.

1550.20—Need for Regular Periodic Reviews

Each entity should review its deposit fund accounts periodically, but at least quarterly, and should take whatever corrective action may be necessary to address problems identified. At a minimum, these reviews should determine whether all monies held in a deposit fund account are consistent with the title of, as well as the legal authority for, the account, and that the account has a positive balance. If a federal disbursing officer over-disburses a deposit fund, an Anti-Deficiency Act violation has occurred and must be reported to OMB promptly. See Volume I, Part 6, Chapter 3000 for procedures on reviewing unclaimed money accounts, such as escrow accounts for loans.

1550.30—Deposit Funds Available to All Entities

The following deposit funds are available to all entities:

  • Advances without orders from non-federal sources (X6500) — This account is for advances without orders from non-federal sources.
  • Small escrow amounts (X6501) — This account is used for small escrow amounts held less than one year, when the entity’s balance is less than $1 million.
  • Employees Payroll Allotment Account, United States Savings Bonds (X6050)
  • Withheld State and Local Taxes (X6275)
  • Other federal payroll withholding, allotments (X6276) — This account is used only when federal payroll withholding amounts, not including deductions for U.S. Savings Bonds, must be held to make monthly payments.

Contact Information

Detailed Contacts

Direct inquiries concerning this chapter to:

Budget Reporting Branch 
Fiscal Accounting 
Bureau of the Fiscal Service

PO Box 1328 
Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328


 

Summary of Updates

Summary of Updates

Section Number

Section Title

Summary of Change

1525

Establishing New Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbols (TAFS)

Major updates to section

1530

Additional TAFS Requests

Added new section

1535

Fund Account Descriptions

Added new section

1540

Receipt Account Classification

Major updates to section

1545

Expenditure Account Classification

Major updates to section

Appendix

Inter-agency Agreement TAS Request Form 000111

Added new appendix

Appendix

BETC Request Form 000112

Added new appendix