Questions concerning this policy chapter should be directed to:

0201 Overview

This chapter establishes the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) financial policies for the budget cycle.

Key points covered in this chapter:

  • An approved budget results in an appropriation to carry out VA programs;
  • An appropriation represents legal authority, granted by Congress and signed into law by the President, for VA to incur obligations and make disbursements of funds in accordance with the appropriation act;
  • VA’s budget cycle includes budget formulation, transmittal, congressional action, budget execution, and audit/review;
  • VA will formulate, submit and execute the budget in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11, Preparation, Submission, and Execution of the Budget;
  • VA will ensure that obligations and expenditures stay within authorized budget limits; and
  • VA will comply with the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C. § 1341, Limitations on expending.

0202 Revisions

See changelog.

0203 Definitions

Allotment – Subdivisions of apportionments that are made by the heads of agencies.

Allowance – A lump sum included in the Budget to represent certain transactions that are expected to increase or decrease budget authority, outlays, or receipts but that are not, for various reasons, reflected in the program details.

Allocation – A delegation, authorized in law, by one agency to another agency, of its authority to obligate budget authority and outlay funds. 

Annual Appropriations – Also called fiscal year or one-year appropriations, are made for a specified fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) and are available for obligation only during the fiscal year for which they are appropriated. All appropriations are presumed to be annual appropriations unless the appropriation act expressly provides otherwise

Antideficiency Act – Federal law that prohibits the making of expenditures or the incurring of obligations in advance of an appropriation; prohibits the incurring of obligations or the making of expenditures in excess of amounts available in appropriation or fund accounts unless specifically authorized by law (31 U.S.C. § 1341(a)); prohibits the acceptance of voluntary or personal services unless authorized by law (31 U.S.C. § 1342); requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), via delegation from the President, to apportion appropriated funds and other budgetary resources for all executive branch agencies (31 U.S.C. § 1512); requires a system of administrative controls within each agency (see 31 U.S.C. § 1514 for the administrative divisions established); prohibits incurring any obligation or making any expenditure in excess of an apportionment or reapportionment or in excess of other subdivisions established pursuant to sections 1513 and 1514 of title 31 of the United States Code (31 U.S.C. § 1517); and specifies penalties for deficiencies.

Apportionment – A plan, approved by OMB, to spend resources provided by one of the annual appropriations acts, a supplemental appropriations act, a continuing resolution, or a permanent law (mandatory appropriations). Resources are apportioned by Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbol (TAFS). The apportionment identifies amounts available for obligation and expenditure. It specifies and limits the obligations that may be incurred and expenditures made (or makes other limitations, as appropriate) for specified time periods, programs, activities, projects, objects, or any combination thereof. An apportioned amount may be further subdivided by an agency into allotments, suballotments, and allocations.

Appropriation Act – A statute that generally provides legal authority for Federal agencies to incur obligations and to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. An appropriation act fulfills the requirement of Article I, Section 9, of the U.S. Constitution, which provides that “no money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” Under the rules of both houses, an appropriation act should follow enactment of authorizing legislation.

Appropriation Fund Account – An appropriation account encompasses several activities or projects and may be subject to restrictions or conditions applicable to only the account, the appropriation act, titles within an appropriation act, other appropriation acts or the Government as a whole.

Budget Authority – The authority provided by law to incur financial obligations that will result in outlays. The specific forms of budget authority are appropriations, borrowing authority, contract authority, and spending authority from offsetting collections.

Budget Formulation – A multi-phase process of budget development, justification and decision making that culminates with the enactment of an appropriations bill.

Budgetary Account – An account that reflects budgetary operations and conditions, such as estimated revenues, appropriations, and obligations. Budgetary accounts are used to record all transactions within the budget.

Budgetary Resources – Amounts available to incur obligations in a given year. Budgetary resources consist of new budget authority, unobligated balances of budget authority provided in previous years, direct spending authority, and obligation limitations.

Budget Submission – An annual detailed plan of anticipated revenues and obligations presented as a request to Congress aligned with the President’s Budget Request from OMB. Appropriations required to support the execution of the plan is central to this request.

Continuing Resolution (CR) – An appropriation act that provides budget authority for federal agencies, specific activities, or both, to continue in operation when Congress and the President have not completed action on the regular appropriation acts by the beginning of the fiscal year. A continuing resolution is passed by both houses of Congress, signed into law by the President and may be enacted for the full year, up to a specified date or until regular appropriations are enacted. It usually specifies a maximum rate at which the obligations may be incurred, based on levels specified in the resolution.

Continuing Resolution (CR) Control Sheet – CR Control Sheet is issued as guidance by OB and this document contains the authority of an apportionment and an allotment for funds impacted by a CR.

Expenditure Account – Expenditure accounts are used to incur obligations and make outlays.

Expenditure Transfers – Transfers between appropriation and fund accounts used when the transaction relates to the purchase of goods and services or otherwise benefits the transferring account. Expenditure transfers are recorded as obligations/outlays in the transferring account and an offsetting collection in the receiving account if the transaction relates to the purchase of goods or services, or otherwise benefits the transferring account. If the receiving account is a general fund appropriation account or revolving fund account, the offsetting collection is credited to the appropriation or fund account. If the receiving account is a special fund or trust account, the offsetting collection is usually credited to a receipt account of the fund.

Expired Account – An appropriation fund account for which authority to incur new obligations has expired but is available for recording, adjusting, and liquidating open or unliquidated obligations properly chargeable to the original appropriation.

Fiscal Year – The Government’s accounting period. It begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 and is designated by the calendar year in which it ends.

Funds from Dedicated Collections – Funds financed by specifically identified revenues, provided to the government by non-federal sources, often supplemented by other financing sources, which remain available over time and meet the three criteria described in the SFFAS No. 27, paragraph 11. These specifically identified revenues and other financing sources are required by statute to be used for designated activities, benefits or purposes and will be accounted for separately from the Government’s general revenues. At least one source of funds external to the federal government must exist for a fund to qualify as a fund from dedicated collections.

General Fund Expenditure Account – An appropriation account established to record amounts appropriated by law for the general support of Federal Government activities and the subsequent expenditure of these funds. It includes spending from both annual and permanent appropriations.

General Fund Receipt Account – A receipt account credited with all collections that are not earmarked by law for another account for a specific purpose. These collections are presented in the President’s budget as either governmental (budget) receipts or offsetting receipts. These include taxes, customs duties, and miscellaneous receipts.

Governmentwide Treasury Account Symbol Adjusted Trial Balance System (GTAS) – A Treasury operated Government-wide web-based accounting system used by Federal agencies to submit both budgetary and proprietary financial data.

Multiple Year Appropriation – An appropriation that is available for obligation for a definite period in excess of one fiscal year.

No-Year Appropriation – An appropriation that is available for obligation without a fiscal year limitation.

Non-budgetary Accounts – Accounts of the Government that do not belong in the budget because they do not represent net budget authority or outlays, but rather are a means of financing (such as deposit funds, direct loan, and loan guarantee financing accounts, and seigniorage).

Non-expenditure Transfer (NET) – A transaction that does not represent payment for goods and services but serves only to adjust amounts available in accounts. NETs do not appear in Treasury publications or in budget documents as receipts or expenditures, and therefore, do not affect the budget surplus or deficit.

Obligation – A legally binding agreement that will result in outlays, immediately or in the future. An obligation is a legal liability of the Government against an available appropriation.

Off-budget – Transactions of the Federal Government that would be treated as budgetary had Congress not designated them by statute as “off-budget.” The term is sometimes used more broadly to refer to the transactions of private enterprises that were established and sponsored by the Government, most especially “Government sponsored enterprises” such as the Federal Home Loan Banks.

On-budget – Transactions of the Federal Government included within the budget, refers to all budgetary transactions other than those designated as off-budget.

Outlay – A payment to liquidate an obligation (other than the repayment of debt principal or other disbursements that are “means of financing” transactions). Outlays generally are equal to cash disbursements but also are recorded for cash-equivalent transactions, such as the issuance of debentures to pay insurance claims, and in a few cases are recorded on an accrual basis such as interest on public issues of the public debt. Outlays are the measure of Government spending.

Proprietary Account – An account used to recognize and track assets, liabilities, net position accounts, revenues, and expenses.

Purpose Statute – Provides that agencies shall apply appropriations only to the objects for which the appropriations were made, except as otherwise provided by law. 31 U.S.C. § 1301(a). There must exist a logical relationship between the expenditure and the appropriation, it must not be prohibited, and the expenditure must not be provided for in another appropriation.

Receipt Account – Receipt accounts are classified as governmental or budget, proprietary, and intra-governmental accounts. 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. Intragovernmental receipts are payments from one government account to another.

Reprogramming – Shifting funds within an appropriation or fund account to use them for purposes other than those contemplated at the time of appropriation; it is the shifting of funds from one budget object class to another within an appropriation or from one program activity to another.

Rescission – Legislation enacted by Congress that cancels the availability of budget authority previously enacted before the authority would otherwise expire.

Standard From (SF) 132, Apportionment and Reapportionment Schedules – Standard forms used to request apportionments from OMB and to apportion funds to VA.

Suballotments – Subdivision of allotments.

Suballowances – Subdivision of allowances.

Time – The legal period of an appropriation’s availability.

Transfer Authority – Shifting of all or part of the budget authority in one appropriation or fund account to another account. Agencies may transfer budget authority only as specifically authorized by law. The nature of the transfer determines whether the transaction is treated as an expenditure or a non-expenditure transfer.

Treasury Account Symbol (TAS) – Refers to the account identification codes assigned by the Department of the Treasury to individual appropriation, receipt, or other fund accounts. All financial transactions of the Federal Government are classified by TAS for reporting to the Department of the Treasury and OMB. TAS includes all the component pieces of Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbol plus any sub-accounts established by Treasury.

Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbol (TAFS) – Refers to the separate Treasury accounts for each appropriation account based on the availability of the resources in the account. The TAFS is a combination of Federal agency; allocation agency, when applicable; account symbol; and availability code (e.g., annual, multi-year, or no-year).

Unexpired Account – An appropriation fund account available for incurring new obligations.

Warrant – Official documents issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, pursuant to law, establishing the amount of appropriations approved by Congress that can be obligated and disbursed.

0204 Roles and Responsibilities

Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Other Key Officials, and Financial Officials are responsible for ensuring compliance with the policies set forth in this chapter.

Office of General Counsel (OGC) is responsible for providing legal advice to safeguard VA and to ensure VA follows appropriation law and other statutory requirements.

Administration and Staff Offices are responsible for all aspects of budget formulation and execution, establishment of appropriate controls to ensure funds are used in accordance with appropriation and other legal requirements, and for the monitoring, tracking, and reporting of financial activities in accordance with all laws, regulations and guidance issued by control agencies.

Office of Budget (OB) is responsible for provideing guidance and support to the Administrations and Staff Offices on matters relating to the formulation and execution the Department’s Budget. OB also coordinates the preparation, and justification of the Department’s annual budget request (i.e., the Congressional Budget Submission). OB serves as the primary liaison with OMB and relevant congressional committees during the formulation process, defending and promoting VA’s program plans and budget estimates before examiners and committee staff. OB is also responsible for obtaining apportionments from OMB and issuing Financial Management Allowances and Transfer of Disbursing Authority documents which authorize allotments from the Department to agencies, administrations, and staff offices to establish fund control points in VA’s accounting system.

Office of Financial Reporting (OFR) is responsible for assisting with the yearly processing of Treasury warrant transactions, beginning VA’s budget allocation process and for distributing warrants to VA Administration and Staff Offices. OFR is also responsible for processing Non-Expenditure Transfers in Treasury’s Central Accounting Reporting System (CARS).

Office of Financial Policy (OFP) is responsible for the establishment of new TAS/TAFS with Treasury.

Financial Services Center (FSC) is responsible for posting high level budget transactions (includes recording warrants) in VA’s financial system and for submitting and certifying financial data through GTAS.

0205 Policies

020501 General Policies

020502 Budget Formulation and Transmittal

020503 Appropriations

020504 Apportionment Requests, Operating and Spending Plans

020505 Continuing Resolution

020506 Processing Warrants

020507 Budget Execution and Control

020508 Reprogramming and Transfers

020509 Reporting of Budget Execution and Budgetary Resources

0206 Authorities and References

0207 Rescissions

Volume II, Chapter 2 – Budget Cycle and Fund Symbols, May 2022.

0208 Policy Approval

This policy was approved by the VA Chief Financial Officers’ Council on March 15, 2023.

Appendix A: History of Revisions

See changelog. The previous policy versions prior to this update were in a different numerical and sequential format. Sections have been moved, revised, and removed in the updated version. Contact the Office of Financial Policy for specific questions on the history of revisions to this policy, or to obtain copies of archived versions.

Appendix B: VA Fund Accounts

Accounts for Purposes Other than Budget Presentation

Credit Reform Accounts

Appendix C: VA Funds and Availability by Administration

The following are VA funds maintained by Treasury. These accounts are active in the Treasury system for VA appropriation activity. Funds are subject to change based on the Appropriation Act and other regulatory legislature. The funds are listed based upon their program functions. The categorization of these funds may differ for reporting purposes. Refer to the Treasury FAST Book for regulatory references.

Veterans Health Administration
FundTitleNo-YearCurrent YearMulti-YearMisc/Non Approp
0131Emergency Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Leave FundX
0140Medical Community CareXXX
0152Expenses, Medical Support and ComplianceXXX
0160Expenses, Medical ServicesXXX
0161Medical and Prosthetic ResearchXX
0162Medical FacilitiesXXX
0165DOD-VA Health Care Sharing Incentive FundX
0169Joint DOD/VA Medical Facility Demonstration FundXXX
0172Veterans Choice FundX
0173Veterans Medical Care and Health FundX
0181Grants for Construction of State Extended Care FacilitiesXX
4014Canteen Service Revolving FundXX
5287Medical Care Collections FundX
6020Personal Funds of PatientsX
8180General Post Fund, National HomesX
National Cemetery Administration
FundTitleNo-YearCurrent YearMulti-YearMisc/Non Approp
0129National Cemetery AdministrationXXX
0183Grants for the Construction of State Veterans CemeteriesX
5392National Cemetery Administration Facilities Operation FundX
8129Department of Veterans Affairs Cemetery Gift FundX
Veterans Benefits Administration
FundTitleNo-YearCurrent YearMulti-YearMisc/Non Approp
0102Compensation and PensionsXX
0120Veterans Insurance and IndemnitiesX
0128Guaranteed Transitional Housing Loans for Homeless Veterans Program AccountX
0137Readjustment BenefitsX
0151General Operating ExpensesXXX
1114Vocational Rehabilitation Loans Program AccountX
1119Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund Program AccountXX
1120Native American Veteran Housing Loan Program AccountXX
1121Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund, Benefits ProgramX
2473Contributions from Military Personnel, Veterans Administration Educational Assistance Act of 1984X
2733Guaranty and Indemnity Direct Loan Finance, Downward Reestimates of SubsidiesX
2751Native American Veteran’s Housing LoansX
2755Veterans Housing Benefit Loan Program, Negative SubsidiesX
2767Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Direct Loan Financing, Downward Reestimates of SubsidiesX
2814Other Repayments of Investments and RecoveriesX
4009Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance FundX
4010Veterans Reopened Insurance FundX
4012Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance FundX
4025Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund, Liquidating AccountX
4112Vocational Rehabilitation Direct Loan Financing AccountX
4124Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund, Loan Sale Securities, Guaranteed Loan Financing AccountX
4127Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund Direct Loan Financing AccountX
4129Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund Guaranteed Loan Financing AccountX
4130Native American Veteran Housing Direct Loan Financing AccountX
4258Guaranteed Transitional Housing Loans for Homeless Veterans Guaranteed Loan Financing AccountX
4379Veteran Affairs Life InsuranceX
8132National Service Life Insurance FundX
8133Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Education AccountX
8150United States Government Life Insurance FundX
8455Veterans Special Life Insurance Fund, Trust Revolving FundX
VA (All Others)
FundTitleNo-YearCurrent YearMulti-YearMisc/Non Approp
0110Construction, Major ProjectsXX
0111Construction, Minor ProjectsXX
0142General AdministrationXXX
0167Information Technology SystemsXXX
0170Office of Inspector GeneralXXX
0869Fees for Legal and Judicial Services, Not Otherwise ClassifiedX
1060Forfeitures of Unclaimed Money and PropertyX
1099Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures, Not Otherwise ClassifiedX
1122Board of Veterans AppealsXX
1123Veterans Electronic Health Care RecordX
1124Recurring Expenses Transformational FundX
1126Cost of War Toxic Exposures FundX
1130Asset and Infrastructure Review CommissionX
1435General Fund Proprietary Interest, Not Otherwise ClassifiedX
3200Collections of Receivables from Canceled AccountsX
3220General Fund Proprietary Receipts, Not Otherwise ClassifiedX
3241Monies Derived from the General Fund Returned to the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury, Veterans AffairsX
3500Collections and/or Payments Default Account, Veterans AffairsX
3502IPAC Default, Veterans AffairsX
3845Proceeds of Sales, Personal Property (Suspense)X
3875Budget Clearing Account (Suspense)X
3880Unavailable Check Cancellations and Overpayments (Suspense)X
3885Undistributed Intragovernmental PaymentsX
4018Pershing Hall Revolving FundX
4537Supply FundX
4539Franchise FundX
5014Department of Veterans Affairs Medical-Care Cost Recovery FundX
5459Capital Asset FundX
6275Withheld State and Local TaxesX
6276Other Federal Payroll Withholding, AllotmentsX
6278All Other Payroll WithholdingsX
6279Deductions from Veterans Benefits PaymentsX
6501Small Escrow AmountsX
6505Escrow Amounts, Departmental Administration, Veterans AffairsX
AMAFFMS Assets and Miscellaneous Accounts Fund (For iFAMS, the AMAF will be indicated by appending “CA,” C Fund for Assets, to the applicable fund code. For example, in iFAMS 0151CA is VBA’s AMAFGE, General Operating Expense fund)X

Appendix D: TAS/TAFS Requests Review Process

VA’s Office of Budget (OB), prior to taking action to affect a change in or create a new Treasury Account Symbol (TAS)/Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbol (TAFS), will consult with examiners in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that potential changes comply with applicable laws or OMB guidance.

When a TAS / TAFS must be created, suspended, discontinued, or reactivated OB will complete the Treasury Account Action Request Form (See file below). OB will ensure that all applicable fields are populated (including the requester’s digital signature) and forwarding the form in Outlook to the Office of Financial Policy (OFP) (047G) VACO Alert OFP for review and approval.

OFP will review to ensure the applicable fields have been completed accurately and verify by validating that the federal law or regulation (e.g., P.L.) supports the request for a change or creation of a TAS/TAFS. If the form has pertinent information missing or is not complete, OFP will contact OB and work with them to resolve any questionable issues. OFP will forward approved request forms via email to the Bureau of Fiscal Services, Budget and Appropriation Analysis Section (BAAS) Group at

BAAS requires requests to be on the latest version of the request form. The requestor will refer to the instructions page to fill out the form correctly. All applicable fields of the request form must be completed. The BAAS Group will need 5 to 7 business days to review and process the request.

Treasury’s BAAS Group will notify OFP when the request has been processed and approved. OFP will in-turn notify OB that the request has been approved. OB will take necessary actions (e.g., submit a fund request) to effect the required changes to VA’s accounting system.

Bureau of the Fiscal Service Fiscal Accounting Treasury Account Action Request Form (PDF, 2 pages).

Appendix E: Warrant Request Process

Warrant Request Letter (Word): Warrant Letter