The Finance Minister manages the department in line with the policy course set by the Federal Chancellor. The Finance Minister is the member of the German government responsible for all aspects of German fiscal and tax policy. The Ministry, with its directorates-general, provides the Minister with expert assistance in implementing his work as a member of government.

In the exercise of his functions as a member of government, the Minister is supported by parliamentary state secretaries who are simultaneously members of the Bundestag, thus ensuring a constant exchange of information between the executive and the legislature.

The Ministry is also run by permanent state secretaries. They have the task of coordinating the activities of the directorates-general, which is where the work to develop and implement legislation takes place.

The directorates-general are made up of up to four directorates. The directorates, in turn, are made up of divisions. Each division typically is comprised of a team of eight people.