Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Stamps

According to Wikipedia, "A revenue stamp, tax stamp or fiscal stamp is a type of adhesive label used to collect taxes or fees on various items. Many countries of the world have used them, for documents (often called stamp duty), tobacco products, liquor, drugs, playing cards, hunting licenses and other kinds of things."

It goes on to say, "While revenue stamps often resemble postage stamps, they were not normally intended for use on mail and therefore did not receive a postal cancellation. (Some countries did issue stamps valid for both postage and revenue, but this practice is rare now). Revenue stamps can display cancellation markings, three types being by manuscript signature of the person canceling the stamp (usually with date), by hand stamp identifying the canceling agent (also usually with date), or by punch; otherwise, they may be simply affixed to a product in such a way so as to be invalidated or destroyed upon its unpackaging."

"The use of revenue stamps goes back further than that of postage stamps; the stamps of the Stamp Act of the 18th century were revenues. Their use became widespread in the 19th century, partly inspired by the success of the postage stamp, and partly motivated by the desire to streamline government operations, the presence of a revenue stamp being an indication that the item in question had already paid the necessary fees. Revenue stamps have become less commonly seen in the 21st century, with the rise of computerization and the ability to use numbers to track payments accurately."

Shown above, an 1862 US Internal Revenue stamp.

For more on revenue and tax stamps from around the world, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM