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The Department of the Treasury (DoT) is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue. Besides the Secretary, one of the best-known Treasury officials is the Treasurer of the United States whose signature, along with the Treasury Secretary’s, appears on all Federal Reserve notes.
- The Treasury prints and mints all paper currency and coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint.
- The Department also collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service, and manages U.S. government debt instruments.
- The establishing act of congress passed in 1789, read in part, …it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury …to execute such services relative to the sale of the lands belonging to the United States, as may be by law required of him; to make report, and give information to either branch of the legislature, in person or in writing (as he may be required), respecting all matters referred to him by the Senate or House of Representatives, or which shall appertain to his office; and generally to perform all such services relative to the finances, as he shall be directed to perform.
- In the next two years, Hamilton submitted five reports: First Report on the Public Credit: Communicated to the House of Representatives, January 14, 1790.
- 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 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”).
- The basic functions of the Department of the Treasury mainly include: Producing all currency, coinage and postage stamps of the U.S.; Collecting taxes, duties and money paid to and due to the U.S.: Paying all bills of the U.S.; Managing the federal finances; Managing government accounts and the United States public debt; Supervising national banks and thrift institutions; Advising on domestic and international financial, monetary, economic, trade and tax policy (fiscal policy being the sum of these); Enforcing federal finance and tax laws; Investigating and prosecuting tax evaders; Publishing statistical reports.
- From 1830 until 1901, the responsibility of overseeing weights and measures was carried out by the Office of Standard Weights and Measures, which was part of the U.S. Treasury Department.
- As part of its administration of Federal tax, the Treasury issues a wide range of documents providing its interpretation of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), which each document having a varying level of weight for which the tax payer may rely: Treasury Regulations reflect the Treasury’s interpretation of the IRC, may be promulgated by the Secretary of the Treasury, and when final they have “force of law” status.
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