Summary of Statement No. 33

Statement No. 33
Accounting and Financial Reporting for Nonexchange Transactions
(Issued 12/98)

This Statement establishes accounting and financial reporting standards for nonexchange transactions involving financial or capital resources (for example, most taxes, grants, and private donations). In a nonexchange transaction, a government gives (or receives) value without directly receiving (or giving) equal value in return. This is different from an exchange transaction, in which each party receives and gives up essentially equal values. The principal issue addressed in this Statement is the timing of recognition of nonexchange transactions—that is, when should governments recognize them in the financial statements?

Classes of Nonexchange Transactions

This Statement identifies four classes of nonexchange transactions based on shared characteristics that affect the timing of recognition:

  1. Derived tax revenues, which result from assessments imposed on exchange transactions (for example, income taxes, sales taxes, and other assessments on earnings or consumption)
  2. Imposed nonexchange revenues, which result from assessments imposed on nongovernmental entities, including individuals, other than assessments on exchange transactions (for example, property taxes and fines)
  3. Government-mandated nonexchange transactions, which occur when a government at one level provides resources to a government at another level and requires the recipient to use the resources for a specific purpose (for example, federal programs that state or local governments are mandated to perform)
  4. Voluntary nonexchange transactions, which result from legislative or contractual agreements, other than exchanges, entered into willingly by the parties to the agreement (for example, certain grants and private donations).
Time Requirements and Purpose Restrictions

This Statement distinguishes between two kinds of stipulations on the use of resources: time requirements and purpose restrictions. Different standards apply for each kind of stipulation.

  • Time requirements specify (a) the period when resources are required to be used (sold, disbursed, or consumed) or when use may begin (for example, operating or capital grants for a specific period) or (b) that the resources are required to be maintained intact in perpetuity or until a specified date or event has occurred (for example, permanent endowments, term endowments, and similar agreements). Time requirements affect the timing of recognition of nonexchange transactions.
  • Purpose restrictions specify the purpose for which resources are required to be used. Purpose restrictions should not affect when a nonexchange transaction is recognized. However, governments that receive resources with purpose restrictions should report resulting net assets, equity, or fund balance as restricted (or a reservation of fund balance for governmental funds).
Recognition Standards

The timing of recognition of, respectively, assets, liabilities, and expenses/expenditures resulting from nonexchange transactions should be the same whether the accrual or the modified accrual (current financial resources) basis of accounting is required. However, for revenue recognition to occur on the modified accrual basis, the criteria established in this Statement for accrual-basis recognition should have been met and the revenues should be available. "Available" means that the government has collected the revenues in the current period or expects to collect them soon enough after the end of the period to use them to pay liabilities of the current period. Also, this Statement continues the guidance in NCGA Interpretation 3, Revenue Recognition—Property Taxes, as amended, for recognizing property taxes on the modified accrual basis of accounting.

The timing of recognition for each class of nonexchange transactions is outlined below. (The accrual basis of accounting is assumed, except where indicated for revenue recognition.)

  • Derived tax revenues
    – Assets—when the underlying exchange transaction occurs or resources are received, whichever is first.

    – Revenues—when the underlying exchange transaction occurs. (On the modified accrual basis of accounting, revenues should be recognized when the underlying exchange has occurred and the resources are available.) Resources received before the underlying exchange has occurred should be reported as deferred revenues (liabilities).
  • Imposed nonexchange revenues
    – Assets—when the government has an enforceable legal claim to the resources or resources are received, whichever is first.

    – Revenues—in the period when use of the resources is required or first permitted by time requirements (for example, for property taxes, the period for which they are levied), or at the same time as the assets if the government has not established time requirements. Resources received or recognized as receivable before the time requirements are met should be reported as deferred revenues. (For property taxes on the modified accrual basis, governments should apply NCGA Interpretation 3, as amended.)
  • Government-mandated and voluntary nonexchange transactions
    – Assets (recipients) and liabilities (providers)—when all applicable eligibility requirements are met or resources are received, whichever is first. Eligibility requirements are established by the provider and may stipulate the qualifying characteristics of recipients, time requirements, allowable costs, and other contingencies.

    – Revenues (recipients) and expenses/expenditures (providers)—when all applicable eligibility requirements are met. (On the modified accrual basis, revenues should be recognized when all applicable eligibility requirements are met and the resources are available.) For transactions in which the provider requires the recipient to use (sell, disburse, or consume) the resources in or beginning in the following period, resources provided before that period should be recognized as advances (providers) and deferred revenues (recipients). For transactions, such as permanent or term endowments, in which the provider stipulates that resources should be maintained intact in perpetuity, for a specified number of years, or until a specific event has occurred, resources should be recognized as revenues when received and as expenses/expenditures when paid.
Other Provisions and Illustrations

This Statement also provides guidance on recognizing promises made by private donors, contraventions of provider stipulations, and nonexchange revenues administered or collected by another government. Appendix C includes a chart summarizing the classes of nonexchange transactions and recognition requirements. Appendix D includes cases to illustrate how nonexchange transactions should be classified and when they should be recognized in accordance with this Statement.

Effective Date

The provisions of this Statement are effective for financial statements for periods beginning after June 15, 2000. Earlier application is encouraged.

Unless otherwise specified, pronouncements of the GASB apply to financial reports of all state and local governmental entities, including general purpose governments, public benefit corporations and authorities, public employee retirement systems, utilities, hospitals and other healthcare providers, and colleges and universities. Paragraphs 2 and 3 discuss the applicability of this Statement.