|Formed||September 2, 1789|
|Jurisdiction||U.S. federal government|
|Headquarters|| Treasury Building |
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C., U.S
|Annual budget||$20 billion (2019)|
The Department of the Treasury (USDT)is the national treasury and finance department of the federal government of the United States, where it serves as an executive department. The department oversees the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Mint. These two agencies are responsible for printing all paper currency and minting coins, while the treasury executes currency circulation in the domestic fiscal system. The USDT collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service; manages U.S. government debt instruments; licenses and supervises banks and thrift institutions; and advises the legislative and executive branches on matters of fiscal policy. The department is administered by the secretary of the treasury, who is a member of the Cabinet. The treasurer of the United States has limited statutory duties, but advises the Secretary on various matters such as coinage and currency production. Signatures of both officials appear on all Federal Reserve notes.
The department was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue.The first secretary of the treasury was Alexander Hamilton, who was sworn into office on September 11, 1789. Hamilton was appointed by President George Washington on the recommendation of Robert Morris, Washington's first choice for the position, who had declined the appointment. Hamilton established the nation's early financial system and for several years was a major presence in Washington's administration. The department is customarily referred to as "Treasury", solely, without any preceding article, as a remnant of the country's transition from British to American English during the late 18th century. Hamilton's portrait appears on the obverse of the ten-dollar bill, while the Treasury Department building is depicted on the reverse.
The history of the Department of the Treasury began in the turmoil of the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress at Philadelphia deliberated the crucial issue of financing a war of independence against Great Britain. The Congress had no power to levy and collect taxes, nor was there a tangible basis for securing funds from foreign investors or governments. The delegates resolved to issue paper money in the form of bills of credit, promising redemption in coin on faith in the revolutionary cause. On June 22, 1775, only a few days after the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Continental Congress issued $2 million in bills; on July 25, 28 citizens of Philadelphia were employed by Congress to sign and number the currency.
On July 29, 1775, the Second Continental Congress assigned the responsibility for the administration of the revolutionary government's finances to joint Continental treasurers George Clymer and Michael Hillegas. Congress stipulated that each of the colonies contribute to the Continental government's funds. To ensure proper and efficient handling of the growing national debt in the face of weak economic and political ties between the colonies, the Congress, on February 17, 1776, designated a committee of five to superintend the treasury, settle accounts, and report periodically to the Congress. On April 1, a Treasury Office of Accounts, consisting of an auditor general and clerks, was established to facilitate the settlement of claims and to keep the public accounts for the government of the United Colonies. With the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the newborn republic as a sovereign nation was able to secure loans from abroad.
Despite the infusion of foreign and domestic loans, the united colonies were unable to establish a well-organized agency for financial administration. Michael Hillegas was first called Treasurer of the United States on May 14, 1777. The Treasury Office was reorganized three times between 1778 and 1781. The $241.5 million in paper Continental bills devalued rapidly. By May 1781, the dollar collapsed at a rate of from 500 to 1000 to 1 against hard currency. Protests against the worthless money swept the colonies, giving rise to the expression "not worth a Continental". The office has, since the late 18th century, been customarily referred to as the singular "Treasury", without any preceding article, as a remnant of the country's transition from British to American English. For example, the department notes its guiding purpose as "Treasury's mission" instead of "the Treasury's mission."
Robert Morris was designated Superintendent of Finance in 1781 and restored stability to the nation's finances. Morris, a wealthy colonial merchant, was nicknamed "the financier" because of his reputation for procuring funds or goods on a moment's notice. His staff included a comptroller, a treasurer, a register, and auditors, who managed the country's finances through 1784, when Morris resigned because of ill health. The treasury board, consisting of three commissioners, continued to oversee the finances of the confederation of former colonies until September 1789.
The First United States Congress convened in New York City on March 4, 1789, marking the beginning of government under the U.S. Constitution. On September 2, 1789, Congress created a permanent institution for the management of government finances:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be a Department of Treasury, in which shall be the following officers, namely: a Secretary of the Treasury, to be deemed head of the department; a Comptroller, an Auditor, a Treasurer, a Register, and an Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, which assistant shall be appointed by the said Secretary.
Alexander Hamilton took the oath of office as the first secretary of the treasury on September 11, 1789. Hamilton had served as George Washington's aide-de-camp during the American Revolutionary War and was influential in the ratification of the Constitution. Hamilton's financial and managerial acumen made him a logical choice for addressing the problem of the new nation's heavy war debt. His first official act as secretary was to submit a report to Congress in which he laid the foundation for the nation's financial health.
To the surprise of many legislators, he insisted upon federal assumption and dollar-for-dollar repayment of the country's $75 million debt in order to revitalize the public credit: "[T]he debt of the United States was the price of liberty. The faith of America has been repeatedly pledged for it, and with solemnities that give peculiar force to the obligation." Hamilton foresaw the development of industry and trade in the United States, suggesting that government revenues be based upon customs duties. His sound financial policies also inspired investment in the Bank of the United States, which acted as the government's fiscal agent.[ citation needed ]
The Department of Treasury believes their seal was created by Francis Hopkinson, the treasurer of loans. He submitted bills to Congress in 1780 that authorized the design of department seals, including the seal for the Board of Treasury. While it is it not certain that Hopkinson designed the seal, it is very similar to others he has done.
The U.S. Congress transferred several agencies that had previously been under the aegis of the Treasury Department to other departments as a consequence of the September 11 attacks. Effective January 24, 2003, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), which had been a bureau of the department since 1972, was extensively reorganized under the provisions of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The law enforcement functions of ATF, including the regulation of legitimate traffic in firearms and explosives, were transferred to the Department of Justice as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE).The regulatory and tax collection functions of ATF related to legitimate traffic in alcohol and tobacco remained with the treasury at its new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
Effective March 1, 2003, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the United States Customs Service, and the United States Secret Service were transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security ("DHS").
In 2020, the Treasury suffered a data breach following a cyberattack likely conducted by a nation state adversary, possibly Russia. [ citation needed ]This was in fact the first detected case of the much wider 2020 United States federal government data breach, which involved at least eight federal departments.
The basic functions of the Department of the Treasury mainly include:
With respect to the estimation of revenues for the executive branch, Treasury serves a purpose parallel to that of the Office of Management and Budget for the estimation of spending for the executive branch, the Joint Committee on Taxation for the estimation of revenues for Congress, and the Congressional Budget Office for the estimation of spending for Congress.
From 1830 until 1901, responsibility for overseeing weights and measures was carried out by the Office of Standard Weights and Measures under the auspices of the Treasury Department.After 1901, that responsibility was assigned to the agency that subsequently became known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The Department of the Treasury is organized into two major components: the departmental offices and the operating bureaus. The departmental offices are primarily responsible for the formulation of policy and management of the department as a whole, while the operating bureaus carry out the specific operations assigned to the department.
|The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)||The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is responsible for enforcing and administering laws covering the production, use, and distribution of alcohol and tobacco products. TTB also collects excise taxes for firearms and ammunition.|
|The Bureau of Engraving & Printing (BEP)||The Bureau of Engraving & Printing (BEP) designs and manufactures U.S. currency, securities, and other official certificates and awards.|
|The Bureau of the Fiscal Service||The Bureau of the Fiscal Service was formed from the consolidation of the Financial Management Service and the Bureau of the Public Debt. Its mission is to promote the financial integrity and operational efficiency of the U.S. government through exceptional accounting, financing, collections, payments, and shared services.|
|The Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund||The Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund was created to expand the availability of credit, investment capital, and financial services in distressed urban and rural communities.|
|The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)||The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) supports law enforcement investigative efforts and fosters interagency and global cooperation against domestic and international financial crimes. It also provides U.S. policymakers with strategic analyses of domestic and worldwide trends and patterns.|
|The Inspector General||The Inspector General conducts independent audits, investigations and reviews to help the Treasury Department accomplish its mission; improve its programs and operations; promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness; and prevent and detect fraud and abuse.|
|The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)||The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) provides leadership and coordination and recommends policy for activities designed to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of the internal revenue laws. TIGTA also recommends policies to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in the programs and operations of the IRS and related entities.|
|The Internal Revenue Service||The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the largest of Treasury's bureaus. It is responsible for determining, assessing, and collecting internal revenue in the United States.|
|The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)||The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) charters, regulates, and supervises national banks to ensure a safe, sound, and competitive banking system that supports the citizens, communities, and economy of the United States.|
|The U.S. Mint||The U.S. Mint designs and manufactures domestic, bullion and foreign coins as well as commemorative medals and other numismatic items. The Mint also distributes U.S. coins to the Federal Reserve banks as well as maintains physical custody and protection of the nation's silver and gold assets.|
The Treasury Department has authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 of $22.6 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows:
|Program||Funding (in millions)||Employees (in FTEs)|
|Management and Finance|
|Office of the Inspector General||$35||213|
|Inspector General for Tax Administration||$157||837|
|Special Inspector General for TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program)||$34||192|
|Community Development Financial Institutions Fund||$225||73|
|Financial Crimes Enforcement Network||$108||346|
|Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau||$101||517|
|Bureau of the Fiscal Services||$348||2,350|
|Internal Revenue Service||$12,476||92,009|
|Office of Fiscal Stability||$184||86|
|Small Business Lending Programs||$17||25|
|State Small Business Credit Initiative||$7||12|
|Financial Stability Oversight Council||$20||26|
|Office of Financial Research||$92||249|
|Bureau of Engraving and Printing||$749||1,944|
|United States Mint||$3,571||1,874|
|Office of the Comptroller of the Currency||$1,104||3,997|
In the latest Center for Effective Government analysis of the fifteen federal agencies that receive the most Freedom of Information Act FOIA requests, published in 2015 (using 2012 and 2013 data, the most recent years available), the treasury failed to earn a satisfactory overall grade.
Treasury's mission highlights its role as the steward of U.S. economic and financial systems, and as an influential participant in the world economy.
The United States secretary of the treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, and is the chief financial officer of the federal government of the United States. The secretary of the treasury serves as the principal advisor to the president of the United States on all matters pertaining to economic and fiscal policy. The secretary is, by custom, a member of the president's cabinet and, by law, a member of the National Security Council.
The Treasurer of the United States is an officer in the United States Department of the Treasury who serves as the custodian and trustee of the federal government's collateral assets and the supervisor of the department's currency and coinage production functions. The current treasurer is Marilynn Malerba, who is the first Native American to hold the office.
The national debt of the United States is the total national debt owed by the federal government of the United States to Treasury security holders. The national debt at any point in time is the face value of the then-outstanding Treasury securities that have been issued by the Treasury and other federal agencies. The terms "national deficit" and "national surplus" usually refer to the federal government budget balance from year to year, not the cumulative amount of debt. In a deficit year the national debt increases as the government needs to borrow funds to finance the deficit, while in a surplus year the debt decreases as more money is received than spent, enabling the government to reduce the debt by buying back some Treasury securities. In general, government debt increases as a result of government spending and decreases from tax or other receipts, both of which fluctuate during the course of a fiscal year. There are two components of gross national debt:
A ministry of finance is a ministry or other government agency in charge of government finance, fiscal policy, and financial regulation. It is headed by a finance minister, an executive or cabinet position.
The treasurerof Australia, also known as the Federaltreasurer or simply the treasurer, is the minister of state of the Commonwealth of Australia charged with overseeing government revenue collection, federal expenditure and economic policy as the head of the Department of the Treasury. The current treasurer is Jim Chalmers, who was appointed by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in May 2022 following the 2022 Australian federal election.
Excise tax in the United States is an indirect tax on listed items. Excise taxes can be and are made by federal, state and local governments and are not uniform throughout the United States. Certain goods, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, alcohol, and tobacco products, are taxed by multiple governments simultaneously. Some excise taxes are collected from the producer or retailer and not paid directly by the consumer, and as such often remain "hidden" in the price of a product or service, rather than being listed separately.
Michael Hillegas was the first Treasurer of the United States.
Symbols of the United States Department of the Treasury include the Flag of the Treasury Department and the U.S. Treasury Seal. The original seal actually predates the department itself, having originated with the Board of Treasury during the period of the Articles of Confederation. The seal is used on all U.S. paper currency, and on official Treasury documents.
A Demand Note is a type of United States paper money that was issued from August 1861 to April 1862 during the American Civil War in denominations of 5, 10, and 20 US$. Demand Notes were the first issue of paper money by the United States that achieved wide circulation and they are still in circulation today, though they are now extremely rare. The U.S. government placed the Demand Notes into circulation by using them to pay expenses incurred during the Civil War including the salaries of its workers and military personnel.
Early American currency went through several stages of development during the colonial and post-Revolutionary history of the United States. John Hull was authorized by the Massachusetts legislature to make the earliest coinage of the colony in 1652.
The Department of the Treasury, also known as The Treasury, is the national treasury and financial department of the federal government of the Commonwealth of Australia. The treasury is responsible for executing economic and fiscal policy, market regulation and the delivery of the federal budget with the department overseeing 16 agencies. The Treasury is one of only two departments that have existed continuously since Federation in 1901, the other being the Department of the Attorney-General.
The Department of Finance is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for the formulation, institutionalization and administration of fiscal policies, management of the financial resources of the government, supervision of the revenue operations of all local government units, the review, approval and management of all public sector debt, and the rationalization, privatization and public accountability of corporations and assets owned, controlled or acquired by the government.
The history of the United States public debt started with federal government debt incurred during the American Revolutionary War by the first U.S treasurer, Michael Hillegas, after the country's formation in 1776. The United States has continuously had a fluctuating public debt since then, except for about a year during 1835–1836. To allow comparisons over the years, public debt is often expressed as a ratio to gross domestic product (GDP). Historically, the United States public debt as a share of GDP has increased during wars and recessions, and subsequently declined.
The First Report on the Public Credit was one of four major reports on fiscal and economic policy submitted by Founding Father and first US Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton on the request of Congress. The report analyzed the financial standing of the United States and made recommendations to reorganize the national debt and to establish the public credit. Commissioned by the US House of Representatives on September 21, 1789, the report was presented on January 9, 1790, at the second session of the 1st US Congress.
The Office of Fiscal Service (OFS) is an agency of the United States federal government in the United States Department of the Treasury. The office is led by the Fiscal Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. The Fiscal Assistant Secretary reports to the United States Secretary of the Treasury through the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance.
Bills of credit are documents similar to banknotes issued by a government that represent a government's indebtedness to the holder. They are typically designed to circulate as currency or currency substitutes. Bills of credit are mentioned in Article One, Section 10, Clause One of the United States Constitution, where their issuance by state governments is prohibited.
A Certified California Municipal Treasurer (CCMT) is a post-nominal professional certification awarded by the California Municipal Treasurers Association (CMTA) to California public treasurers who meet standards of education, experience, and a stated commitment to a code of ethics. It was created in 1978 to provide a professional standard of financial expertise and ethics in California government treasury.
Rosa Gumataotao Rios is an American academic. She served as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States and is a visiting scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
A Treasury Note is a type of short term debt instrument issued by the United States prior to the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. Without the alternatives offered by a federal paper money or a central bank, the U.S. government relied on these instruments for funding during periods of financial stress such as the War of 1812, the Panic of 1837, and the American Civil War. While the Treasury Notes, as issued, were neither legal tender nor representative money, some issues were used as money in lieu of an official federal paper money. However the motivation behind their issuance was always funding federal expenditures rather than the provision of a circulating medium. These notes typically were hand-signed, of large denomination, of large dimension, bore interest, were payable to the order of the owner, and matured in no more than three years – though some issues lacked one or more of these properties. Often they were receivable at face value by the government in payment of taxes and for purchases of publicly owned land, and thus "might to some extent be regarded as paper money." On many issues the interest rate was chosen to make interest calculations particularly easy, paying either 1, 1+1⁄2, or 2 cents per day on a $100 note.
The Funding Act of 1790, the full title of which is An Act making provision for the [payment of the] Debt of the United States, was passed on August 4, 1790, by the United States Congress as part of the Compromise of 1790, to address the issue of funding of the domestic debt incurred by the state governments, first as Thirteen Colonies, then as states in rebellion, in independence, in Confederation, and finally as members of a single federal Union. By the Act, the newly-inaugurated federal government under the U.S. Constitution assumed and thereby retired the debts of each of the individual colonies in rebellion and the bonded debts of the States in Confederation, which each state had individually and independently issued on its own "full faith and credit" when each of them was, in effect, an independent nation.