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, Revenues & Others, Wonderful Stamp Collection Mounted On Scott Specialty PagUs, Incl Revenues & Bob, 100's Of Stamps In Stock SheetsCkstamps : Lovely Unchecked Unused & Used Us Revenues Stamps Collection In Book 1756, Massachusetts Stamp Act, 4 Pence Embossed Revenue Stamp, Steady And ReadyNystamps X Old Us Bob Revenue Stamp & Part Sheet CollectionNystamps X Mint Old Us Bob Revenue Match & Medicine Stamp Collection Stock PgMatch & Medicine Revenue Stamps Lot Of 95+Nice Collection Of 10 Us Match & Medicine Revenue Stamps With "faults" Scv $300+Noblespirit No Reserve 4143 Remarkable Usa Revenues & Bob Coll. High CvEight Us Back Of Book Newspaper Periodicals Revenue Stamps Mint No GumOhio Sales Tax Stamps With Original Holder/dispenser 3/6/9/12/15 CentNystamps M Old Us Bob Revenue Springer Tc48 Huge Stamp $438 Rarely SeenNoblespirit No Reserve Valuable Us Revenues + Bob AssortmentWholesale Opium, Coca Leavest Dealer Tax Stamp From 1945U.s. Selection Of Old Revenue StampsConsular Service Fee Revenue Stamp Scott Rk39Nystamps G Old Us Bob Revenue Stamp & Part Sheet CollectionNoblespirit No Reserve Mlm/1179 Excellent Us B.o.b. Revenue Glassine Hoard!Us Revenue Wines Re56 With Tablet Scv $60.00 Nice StampSalem Railroad Of Nj 1863 Civil War Stock Cert W/ R44a Imperf Revenue StampU.s. Bob Internal Revenue Proprietary - Sc# R18b Part Perforate - Used - ScarceMatch & Medicine Scott# Ro124, Us Stamp, Vf, United States 1862-71California Us State Revenue 30 Stamp Lot. 1866-72 Src#d38, 33, D31, 35, 37, &Nystamps E Old Us Bob Sd Official Due Revenue Cut Square Stamp CollectionUs, Bob, Stock Transfer Revenue Collection, Lot Sttr55Us 20c On 25c Hawaiian Stamp Duty 1877 Sc R7 H Cat Value $55Alaska Liquor Revenue Us State Revenue Stamp Lot 1937-45, Src#l11, 24, 25, &New Jersey Trout Fishing Revenue, Us 10 Stamp Lot, United States Fish, Vf, OgUs Revenue 1st Issue, R16c Strip Of 8 See Description X566Internal Revenue Wholesale Liquor Dealers Stamp. 1910 30 Gallons Wine.Playing Cards Tax Revenue Stamp Scott Rf13Private Die Us Revenue Medicine Rs156c1954 Red Documentary Revenues On Album Page 23 StampsU.s.a. - Early Revenue Lot On Old Approval Page ( 22 )Colorado State Us 9 Stamp Liquor Tax Revenue Lot, 1933-44 Src#w1-9, UsaCaseyjones: Us #rs83a Private Die Medicine Stamp Cv $67.50Playing Cards Tax Revenue Stamp Scott Rf11Nevada Us State Revenue 4 Stamp Lot, 1865-72, Src# D1,10a, 12, 11. United StatesOld Wells Fargo Check 1868 With Us And 15c California Revenue Stamps Paid GoldNystamps H Old Us Bob Revenue Stamp & Block CollectionNystamps S Old Us Bob Revenue Stamp Collection Scott Album1862-64 First Issue Revenue Stamps, Used, 1¢ - 2¢ Values, 10 DifferentSpecial Tax Stamps--(4)--coin-operated Amusemen Devices--1944, 1948, 1949 & 1950Us Collection Of 31 Us Revenue Stamps1874 Buffalo New York H W Burt & Co Bankers Check On Revenue PaperInternal Revenue General Bonded Warehouse Stamp 1894.Texas Beer Stamp: 1 Carton - 6 12oz Bottles #b21 Mh (g-e7408)Potato Taxpaid Revenue Stamps Educational BookletUs ~ Revenue Potato Tax 13 Stamp Mint Hinged Set - 1 To 200 Pounds - Mh/ogExtremely Rare Turner Essay #77a Blue On Card, Only 48 Printed!Match & Medicine 13 Us Stamp Lot, 1862-71, Scott#rs87a,166c, 119, 91a. &Private Die Us Revenue Match Ro138aIllinois. Ca.1930-40's 1 Barrel Beer Specimen Revenue Stamp Abn, Mint10/5/1870 Claim For Pension War 1812 Revenue Thomas Cole $20 Warrant Fp StevensRs 58d--rc & Cs Clark 4 Cent Medicine Private Die Tax Stamp-- --271875 Us Proprietary Revenue Stamps (5) 1c Washington Rb11 Perforation ErrorsUs Scott # O27 Mint / Vf / Lh Original Gum; Scv $320.00Lot Of Playing Card Stamps Q-18 Diferent PcUs #ro110d Used WatermarkedRo 110d-hotchkiss 1 Cent Match Private Die Tax Stamp--misperfed --27