What Is the Treasury General Account?

The Treasury General Account is the general checking account, which the Department of the Treasury uses and from which the U.S. government makes all of its official payments. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York holds the Treasury General Account.

Key Takeaways

  • The Treasury General Account is the checking account used by the Department of the U.S. Treasury, from which the U.S. government makes all of its payments.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is the holder of the Treasury General Account.
  • The Treasury General Account Program is made up of three entities: the TGA Network, the Seized Currency Collection Network (SCCN), and the Mail-In TGA (MITGA).
  • All three programs are responsible for different areas of receiving cash and checking deposits in the Treasury General Account.
  • The Treasury General Account is used for U.S. government disbursements, where tax payments are deposited, and where funds from the sale of Treasury debt is collected.
  • Changes in the Treasury General Account affect the deposits at the Federal Reserve.

Understanding the Treasury General Account

Created in 1789, the U.S. Treasury is the department of the government that is responsible for issuing all Treasury bonds, notes, and bills. Key functions of the U.S. Treasury include printing bills, postage, and Federal Reserve notes, minting coins, collecting taxes, enforcing tax laws, managing debt issues, and more. The Treasury General Account also holds money that is credited to the government in the form of monetized gold.

The U.S. Treasury oversees U.S. banks, which cooperate with the Federal Reserve. Each time the Treasury makes a payment from its general account, funds flow directly into the depository institution’s account. In this way, the Treasury's receipts and expenditures have the ability to impact the balances of depository institutions’ accounts at the Reserve Banks.

The Treasury General Account (TGA) Program is made up of three services that check deposits and receive cash. These three services are the TGA Network, the Seized Currency Collection Network (SCCN), and the Mail-In TGA (MITGA).

The TGA Network is a group of commercial financial institutions that receive and reconcile over-the-counter (OTC) government agency cash and check deposits. The network operates globally. The Seized Currency Collection Network (SCCN), which is made up of commercial financial institutions as well, specializes in receiving funds that law enforcement agencies have seized. The Mail-In TGA (MITGA) is a depositary that receives only deposits, which agencies send via mail.

Treasury General Account and U.S. Monetary Policy

The focus of the U.S. Treasury is to promote economic growth and security. Established by the First Congress of the United States in New York on March 4, 1789, the institution has played a key role in U.S. monetary policy ever since.

In general, there are two types of monetary policy, expansionary and contractionary. Expansionary monetary policy increases the money supply to lower unemployment and to boost private-sector borrowing and consumer spending. Contractionary monetary policy slows the rate of growth in the money supply to control inflation.

The Federal Reserve Bank buys and sells U.S. Treasury bills and bonds to control the country's money supply and manage interest rates, the money of which goes to and from the Treasury General Account. In the United States, this monetary policy helps determine the size and rate of growth of the money supply, which in turn affects interest rates.