Rescinded [2009-10-01] - Policy on Recording of Refunds of Expenditures and Repayments of Advances

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

More information



This policy is replaced by: 

View all inactive instruments

Print-friendly XML

1. Effective date

This policy is effective October 1, 1996 and supersedes section 10.7.9 of the Treasury Board Guide on Financial Administration for Departments and Agencies of the Government of Canada, consolidated revision, dated April 1991.

2. Preface

  1. A fundamental principle of parliamentary control over expenditures is that all receipts must be deposited in the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) and that Parliament alone retains the right to determine spending priorities including the appropriation of revenues received.
  2. However, section 39 of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) allows certain funds that are repaid or returned to be credited to the appropriation from which they were originally spent.

3. Policy objective

To ensure proper use of the authority to credit refunds of expenditures and repayments of advances to the appropriations from which they were originally spent.

4. Policy statement

It is government policy that, in accordance with statutory authority, departments be allowed to replenish the appropriation from which it was originally disbursed with certain moneys received as refunds or repayments.

5. Application

This policy applies to all organizations considered to be departments within the meaning of section 2 of the FAA.

6. Policy requirements

  1. Departments must establish policies and procedures to ensure that:
    1. only when received in the same fiscal year as the original charge to the appropriation or during the supplementary accounting periods at year end are the following refunds and repayments to be credited to the appropriation and the economic object that was originally charged:
      • recoveries of overpayments, duplicate payments, and erroneous payments;
      • repayments of accountable advances;
      • repayments of budgetary loans where there is authority to reuse receipts for making additional loans;
      • repayments of losses of money;
      • refunds from the return of goods;
      • refunds of sales or excise taxes and customs duties;
      • refunds of advance payments;
      • refunds arising from the settlement of contractual disputes;
      • refunds arising from manufacturers' rebates, price reductions, volume discounts or other price adjustments;
      • refunds arising from landlords' rebates representing cash lease inducements where a government department is a lessee;
      • payment of an indemnification;
      • payment from a claim for loss of or damage to a Crown asset;
      • reimbursement by another party (including other government departments) for its agreed share of the costs pursuant to a cost-sharing agreement; and
      • repayment of travel expenses such as personal stopovers and side trips that were included on an invoice payable by the department but that are the responsibility of the traveller.
    2. refunds of expenditures and recoveries of overpayments of statutory appropriations are credited to the statutory appropriation for the fiscal year in which the refund or recovery is actually received; and,
    3. receipts of repayments of advances that have been made from statutory appropriations and repayments of budgetary loans are credited to the statutory appropriation for the fiscal year in which the amounts are received.
  2. Except as noted in 6(a)(ii) and (iii), when a refund, reimbursement or repayment relates to expenditures made in a prior fiscal year, and is received after the final date for depositing that fiscal year's receipts at year end, the amount must be credited to the CRF as non-tax revenue as a refund of previous years' expenditures.

7. Monitoring

  1. Departments should undertake periodic audits which focus on the appropriate crediting of funds received as provided by section 39 of the FAA.
  2. The Treasury Board Secretariat will monitor the effectiveness of this policy by reviewing departmental audit reports.

8. References

8.1 Legislation

Financial Administration Act.

8.2 Treasury Board publications

Policy on Special Revenue Spending Authorities, Chapter 5-6 of the "Comptrollership" volume of the Treasury Board Manual.

Policy on Specified Purpose Accounts, Chapter 5-7 of the "Comptrollership" volume of the Treasury Board Manual.

Policy on the Application of the Goods and Services Tax in the Departments and Agencies of the Government of Canada, Chapter 5-8 of the "Comptrollership" volume of the Treasury Board Manual.

9. Enquiries

Please direct enquiries about this policy to the responsible office in departmental headquarters who, in turn, may seek interpretations from:

Financial and Contract Management Sector
Deputy Comptroller General Branch
Treasury Board Secretariat
L'Esplanade Laurier
300 Laurier Ave. West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0R5

Telephone: (613) 957-7233
Facsimile: (613) 952-9613

Appendix A - General Guidelines

1. Situations Not Eligible for Credit to the Appropriation Originally Charged

The following are cases where section 39 of the FAA does not provide the authority to credit the appropriation that was originally charged:

  • receipts resulting from interdepartmental charges;
  • reimbursements of expenditures or other forms of cost-recovery;
  • receipts resulting from payments from departments or others as a result of receiving commensurate goods or services in return;
  • receipts resulting from charges for a service or for attendance at an event;
  • receipts resulting from payments from departments or others not pursuant to a cost-sharing agreement;
  • receipts resulting from payments from revolving funds since they are governed by separate revenue re-spending authority;
  • revenues received under net voting authority; and,
  • repayments of non-budgetary loans, investments and advances.

2. Treatment of Goods and Services Tax

2.1 Current year refunds

Departments that return goods to suppliers are responsible for matching refunds back to the original Goods and Services Tax payments and for making the necessary credit entries to the GST Refundable Advance Accounts.

2.2 Refunds of previous year's expenditures

  1. For refunds of previous year's expenditures, even where part of the refund is for Goods and Services Tax paid, the full amount of the refund received is to be coded against "refund of previous year's expenditures."
  2. See the Goods and Services Tax policy for greater detail.
Date modified: