The Treasury said the December deficit compares with a $13 billion deficit in December 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic started in the United States.
Receipts for the month rose 3 percent from a year earlier to $346 billion, while outlays were up 40 percent to $490 billion.
December individual withheld income tax receipts were flat, while the Treasury registered increases in non-withheld income taxes and year-end corporate tax payments.
The cumulative U.S. deficit for the first three months of fiscal 2021, which started Oct. 1, reached $573 billion, up from $357 billion in the pre-pandemic year-earlier period.
Receipts for the first three months of the fiscal year were largely flat at $803 billion, while outlays were up 18 percent at $1.376 trillion.