Stanley Gibbons Investments

Revenue stamp

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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, tobacco products, liquor, drugs, playing cards, hunting licenses and other kinds of things. While revenue stamps often resemble postage stamps, they were not intended for use on mail and therefore did not receive a postal cancellation. However, 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.

Revenue stamps are securities, usually printed by the finance ministry of the relevant country. In many countries, they are as detailed in their design as banknotes; they are often made from the same type of paper as banknotes and many contain holograms and other anti-counterfeit devices. The reason for these measures is that excise duty is extremely expensive, in most EU countries accounting for around half the market price of the product.

There are a great many kinds of revenue stamps in the world, and it is likely that some are still uncataloged. Both national and sub-national entities have issued them. While some use a single design for all forms of fee payment, others have introduced distinct designs usable for only a single type of item. In certain periods government have combined the uses of postage and revenue stamps, calling them "postal fiscals" or inscribing them "Postage and Revenue".

- Mrs. Nagalakshmi Tadakaluri, Philatelist.

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