Revenue stamps, also called fiscal stamps, have been issued around the world since the 17th century to verify the payment of taxes or fees on everything from alcohol and tobacco to playing cards and hunting licenses. Not used for postage, these Cinderella stamps often feature detailed, engraved designs, and some even contain anti-counterfeiting devices.

In 18th-century America, some of the first revenue stamps were produced to collect taxes on liquor. These stamps, known as Supervisors’ Seals, featured embossed rather than printed designs on their faces, as did the stamps used to collect taxes on paper and parchment, which were issued in 1798. Collectively, these early embossed revenue stamps are known as the First Federal Issue.

Adhesive-backed stamps, authorized by the Revenue Act of 1862, initially helped finance the Civil War, although the practice of using stamps to collect taxes persisted long after the conflict was over. Documentary Revenue Stamps were designed to be affixed to documents such as promissory notes, receipts, powers of attorney, and life-insurance policies. Proprietary Revenue Stamps and Private Die Proprietaries were issued to collect taxes on manufactured goods.

While relatively few people interacted with Documentary Revenue Stamps, most of us are familiar with Proprietary Revenue Stamps, which are fixtures on tobacco products and bottles of alcohol. Taxpaid tobacco stamps, called taxpaids by collectors, were attached to packs of cigarettes, while wide, strip-shaped bottle stamps were affixed to the tops of liquor bottles.

Other goods for which revenue stamps were produced include “prepared smoking opium,” coca leaves, potatoes, and flour. During World War II, Motor Vehicle Use stamps were stuck on the insides of windshields, while in the 1960s, Boating Tax Stamps were issued.

In fact, recreation stamps are among the most collected revenue stamps around. In additional to Trailer Permit Stamps issued to collect fees on trailers entering National Parks and Monuments between 1939 and the 1950s, Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as duck stamps, were issued beginning in 1934 to raise money needed to preserve wetlands.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

1898 Revenues

1898 Revenues

1898 Revenues is a blog-turned-encyclopedia that delves into the stamps issued by the U.S. government to finance th… [read review or visit site]

Two Cent Revenue Stamped Paper

Two Cent Revenue Stamped Paper

Everything you'd ever want to know about revenue stamped paper (first authorized in 1862). This site features infor… [read review or visit site]

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

Don Schilling's long-running, in-depth blog on stamp collecting and postal operations. Schilling stays up on all th… [read review or visit site]

National Postal Museum

National Postal Museum

If you're into postal history or collectibles, check out the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. This extensive s… [read review or visit site]

R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries

R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries

This auction house site offers an extensive online database of US stamp information. Includes PDF catalogs of past … [read review or visit site]

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise showcases Hawaiian postal history from the years before Hawaii became a part of the United … [read review or visit site]

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Bob Hohertz's impressive database of U.S. Private Die Proprietary stamps from the Civil War and Spanish American Wa… [read review or visit site]

Alphabetilately

Alphabetilately

First shown in 2008 to celebrate the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's 15th anniversary, Alphabetilately is esse… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Us Stamp:#pr110 $10 Green 1895 12p. Newspaper Used Cv $2,000Ckstamps: Us Air Revenue Stamp Collection Scott#ri1-ri13 (13) Mint H OgU.s. First Issues Revenue Collection ($1,163)Us Stamp:#pr108 $2 1895 12p. Newspaper Unused Stamp $1,500Noblespirit No Reserve 4028/20 Scarce & Desirable World Revenue StockNystamps Us Match Medicine Stamp # Rs161d Mint $50Noblespirit No Reserve My/1355 Massive Cv As Found Un-searched Revenue Hoard !! Us, Excellent Assortment Of Revenue & Other Bob Stamps Mounted On PagesPuerto Rico , 2 Rare Municipal Telegraph Revenues On Paper #m4536Noblespirit No Reserve (951c) Important Cut Square Rarities SelectionNoblespirit No Reserve My/1367 Powerful Pair Revenue High Cv Selection CardsPuerto Rico , 2 Diff. Rare Classic Municipal Telegraph Revenues On Paper #m4537Us Ry3 M/vf/nh Firearms Tax Stamp Po Fresh Original Gum Scarce Stamp; Scv $85.00Us #r126 1871 $3.50 2nd Issue - Blue/black- Used/canceled- Noblespirit No Reserve My/1357 Massive Cv Un-searched Commemorative Hoard !!!Ckstamps: Us Revenue Stamp Collection Scott#rk1 UsedClassic Fiscal Revenue United States A10037Noblespirit No Reserve Impressive Us Better Postal Issues & Revenues CollectionNystamps X Mint Old Us Bob Revenue Wine Stamp CollectionNoblespirit No Reserve (951c) Important Cut Square Rarities Approval StockState Revenues Taxpaids & More Mounted CollectionU.s. #r154 Block Of 20 Unlisted Inverted Watermark & A Small Period Variety MnhSyracuse & Suburban Railroad Company Stock Certificate Number38 With RevenuesB191 Us Bob Used Lot Of 200+ Revenues, Postage Due , Special Delivery & MoreU.s. #r1b Used - 1c Express, Part Perf ($55)State Tax Revenue Stamp Lot Marijuana Washington Ohio Wisconsin Bob Back Of BookUs#r70a. $1.00 Revenue- 1862/1871- Red,lease- Imperf.- Print Error- Used- Nice R684a, Complete Booklet Of Four Mint $1,000.00 Revenue Stamps Cat $1,200.00Embossed Revenue Stamped Paper Scott Rm558 Import CertificateNystamps Us Revenue Stamp # R279 Mint With Gum H $190Nice Collection Of Wine Stamps 24 Different Mint Ng As IssuedDocumentary Tax Revenue Stamp Scott R306Noblespirit No Reserve My/11360 Massive Cv As Found Unsearched Parcel Post HoardProprietary Tax Revenue Stamp Scott Rb43 A.c. Co Printed CancelState Revenue-"beer" -"a Rarity Of Rarities" City Of Seattle Beer -50c PinkTrademark Stamp Better Earl & Wilson Stamp Abn Proof Specimen Ovpt Royalty StampU.s. #r81a Used Beauty - $2 Mortgage, Imperf ($225)Us Scott #k5 Vf Og Vlh Scott Value $65Selection Of Company Battleship Proprietary Stamp Cancels, I Combine Shipping! Back Of The Book Assortment: Incl M&ms Rs187d Newspaper Prohibition Labels Ro7d V-stamps Us Revenue Stamps, Nice Lot Of 15 Revenue StampsUs Dept. Of Agriculture Meat Inspection StampNystamps Us Revenue Stamp # R2p4 Mint $65 ProofNystamps Us Federal Boating Stamp # Rvb1 Mint Og H $38North Carolina Land Plaster Tag Lpt2United States Excise Revenue Used Single Us Tax Stamp Nice Variety Lot 0114First Issue Revenue Stamps Lot Of 121962 Maupin, Or $3.00 Drug Store Tax Stamp For Dealer In Opium, Marihuana, Etc.~Revenue Stamp Paper: R69, Nebraska Territory, 1866; Omaha Promissory Note/bank North Carolina Cotton Seed Meal Tag Cst35North Carolina Feed Tag Fet53North Carolina Feed Tag UnlistedNorth Carolina Fertilizer Tag 1942 UnlistedNorth Carolina Fertilizer Tag Ftt123North Carolina Fertilizer Tag Ftt134Us Scott #k8 Vf-xf Og Nh Scott Value $180State Revenue-city Issued "beer" Stamp - Cobb County, Ga-only -3- Believed KnownUs Revenue Stamps R-xxx, Lot Of 45 Stamps, Used, All Different, 1862-1871Lot Old Us Stamp Covers Cards Revenue Checks DocumentsNystamps Us Revenue Stamp # R601 Mint Og H $175