Money ($, £, or € etc) is the same thing as a Government IOU. These IOUs can be held by anyone other than the issuing government. They can be cash, balances at the reserve bank, or as balances in the form of Treasury securities (bonds).
Added together they form the National Debt. (An International Debt in the case of the Euro ?)
Any IOUs that are removed in taxation can be torn up to reduce, or partially pay off, National Debts.
If the National Debts were completely paid off there would be no $, £, or € etc in circulation either in bank accounts or cash.