|Ministry of Revenue|
|Literal meaning||Going Over Expenses|
|Literal meaning||Ministry of People|
|Literal meaning||Household(s) Ministry|
The term "Ministry" or "Board of Revenue" is an English gloss of the department's purview. It is also similarly translated as the Finance Ministry or Board of Finance. In Chinese, the various names of the department never referred to the government's monetary income. Instead, prior to the Sui dynasty, it was known as the Dùzhī from its role in overseeing government expenses. Under the Sui, it was known as the "Ministry of People" (Mínbù) from its role overseeing the census and its associated taxation. From the Tang to the Qing, it was known as the "Households Department" (Hùbù), again from its role in overseeing a census reckoned in households and its associated taxation.
- Tang dynasty & Song dynasty: subordinate to the Department of State Affairs
- Yuan dynasty: subordinate to the Secretariat
- Ming dynasty: originally subordinate to the Secretariat, relatively autonomous after 1380, coordinated by the Grand Secretariat after the mid-1400s
Charles O. Hucker wrote that the Ministry of Revenue was "in general charge of population and land censuses, assessment and collection of taxes, and storage and distribution of government revenues." The ministry was usually divided into specialized bureaus:
Each bureau was headed by a director (郎中). The ministry was headed by a minister (尚書).
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