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U.S. Department of the Treasury

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated January 16, 2021

What is the U.S. Department of the Treasury?

The United States Department of the Treasury protects and manages many American economic and financial systems. The Secretary of the Treasury is the Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. government and is the President's main economic advisor.

How Does the U.S. Department of the Treasury Work?

The U.S. Treasury is organized into two major components: departmental offices and operating bureaus. The departmental offices formulate economic policy and manage the department itself. The operating bureaus carry out Treasury assignments and employ 98% of all Treasury employees. The Treasury's basic functions include:

  • Management of the federal budget;
  • Collection of taxes, duties, and other money owed to the U.S. and payment of bills owed by the U.S.;
  • Production of postage stamps, currency, and coins;
  • Management of government accounts and the public debt;
  • Supervision of national banks and thrift institutions;
  • Advising others on fiscal, monetary, economic, trade, and tax policy;
  • Enforcement of federal finance and tax laws; and
  • Investigation and prosecution of tax evasion, counterfeit crimes, and forgery.

The U.S. Treasury also manages the issuance of T-bills, T-notes, and T-bonds.

The Secretary of the Treasury is the chairman pro tempore of the President's Economic Policy Council, is chairman of the boards and managing trustee of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, and is the U.S. governor of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Why Does the U.S. Department of the Treasury Matter?

The U.S. Treasury is tasked with maintaining the financial security of the United States and preventing financial crises. This responsibility includes promoting the administration's economic agenda both domestically and internationally. As such, the U.S. Treasury formulates and recommends many of the crucial economic, financial, and tax policies that greatly influence domestic and foreign economies.

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