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An overview of the Ministry’s directorates-general: taxes, EU finances, strategy, communications, and more.

Directorate-General L: Senior political staff

Letter L in an dark blue circle
The Finance Ministry’s senior political staff lay the direct groundwork for the multifaceted work performed by the Minister and State Secretaries. Senior staff units work within a dedicated Directorate-General, where they perform strategy development and policy planning to advance decision-making processes, manage the Ministry’s relations with the parliament and federal cabinet, and prepare the Minister’s meetings and speeches. These units are also in charge of Ministry communications: their main activities here include media relations, responding to enquiries from the general public, organising Ministry events, issuing postage stamps, and performing public outreach via multilingual digital media and a wide variety of publications.

Directorate-General Z: Central administration and services

Directorate-General Z
Directorate-General Z performs key functions such as organisational management, human resources, and training. It also oversees broad areas of the federal revenue administration and certain policy and legal areas. The Federal Academy of Finance also belongs to Directorate-General Z in organisational terms. The majority of staff in Directorate-General Z work in traditional service areas such as the language service and in-house services.

In addition, Directorate-General Z manages IT operations in the Ministry and the federal revenue administration. It is responsible for supervising the German government’s central IT service provider, ITZBund. Other IT areas are also becoming increasingly important for the entire federal revenue administration, such as IT strategy development, portfolio management and innovation management (including the use of AI).

Other important tasks carried out by Directorate-General Z include the coordination of major strategic projects (e.g. the consolidation of federal IT operations), cooperating with other federal ministries and developing strategies.

Directorate-General I: Economic and fiscal policy strategy; international economy and finance

Directorate-General 1
Directorate-General I analyses national and international economic trends and advises the Ministry’s senior leadership on fiscal and economic policy issues. In addition, Directorate-General I policy specialists work together with experts from national and international research institutes, organisations, advisory bodies and associations. Together, they develop models and strategies for effective policy responses to current and future challenges, in accordance with the regulatory principles of Germany’s social market economy.

Directorate-General II: Federal budget

Directorate-General 2
Directorate-General II has lead responsibility within the government in drawing up the federal budget and financial plan. It monitors budget implementation throughout the year and steps in to keep the budget on course where necessary – for example by freezing expenditure or drawing up supplementary budgets. Once the fiscal year has ended, Directorate-General II also puts together the budget account and the account of assets and liabilities.

Directorate-General III: Customs, VAT, excise duties and certain transaction taxes

Directorate-General 3
Directorate-General III is responsible for operational supervision of the customs administration. The customs administration’s tasks include collecting customs duties, import VAT, excise duties, and transaction taxes such as motor vehicle tax and insurance tax. It monitors the cross-border movement of goods and fights organised crime, undeclared work and unlawful employment. In addition, Directorate-General III deals with national and international issues relating to VAT.

Directorate-General IV: Taxation – direct taxes

Directorate-General 4
Directorate-General IV focuses on national and international matters relating to tax policy and is responsible for national tax legislation. It negotiates international agreements to avoid double taxation, and it represents the German government in multinational bodies working on international initiatives and proposals, such as new rules for fair tax competition. Directorate-General IV also coordinates all tax-related matters with the highest revenue authorities of the Länder, as required by Germany’s constitution.

Directorate-General V: Federal financial relations, public law and legal matters

Directorate-General 5
Directorate-General V is in charge of financial relations between the Federation, Länder and local authorities. Its remit also covers public and constitutional law, general legal affairs, procurement law and freedom of information law. In addition, Directorate-General V is in charge of Wiedergutmachung – Germany’s efforts to take responsibility for crimes committed by the Nazi regime. This includes financial compensation and other emerging tasks in this area. Finally, Directorate-General V deals with unresolved property issues and war-induced burdens.

Directorate-General VII: Financial market policy

Directorate-General 7
Directorate-General VII develops the German government’s main positions on issues of German, European and international financial market regulation (including consumer protection). It also drafts legislation dealing with financial markets. In this way, it helps lay the groundwork for the appropriate supervision of the banking, insurance and securities sectors and for the stability of financial markets as a whole.

Its key tasks include monitoring digital financial technologies, combating illegal financial flows and helping to design financial sanctions. Directorate-General VII oversees key government-owned institutions including the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (Germany's development bank) and the Federal Agency for Financial Market Stabilisation. It also supervises the German Finance Agency, which means that its remit also covers Germany’s debt management system.

Directorate-General VIII: Privatisation, industrial holdings and federal real estate

Directorate-General 8
Directorate-General VIII is responsible for government policy on privatisation and government holdings in companies such as Deutsche Telekom AG and Deutsche Post AG. It is also in charge of legal supervision of the Institute for Federal Real Estate, and it oversees the remaining tasks being carried out by the successor organisations to the Treuhandanstalt, the agency set up to privatise former East German state assets after German reunification.

Directorate-General E: European policy, international financial policy

Directorate-General E
Directorate-General E develops positions on EU budgetary and financial issues for the German government. It is also involved in the coordination of European economic and monetary policy, as well as EU financial control.