The Stamp and Coin Place Blog: connecting the past and present of stamp and coin collecting, and looking to the future.

What are Postal Tax Stamps?

A revenue postage stamp from Australia.

You have your regular stamps and your revenue stamps (stamps used to collect taxes/fees on items), but what happens when you combine them?

Postal tax stamps are few and far between. You can only find these stamps being made outside of the U.S.; they originated in Spain and Portugal, and many Latin America countries adopted tax stamps.

The main function of a postal tax stamp is to raise money for charity or for war. This is not something done through volunteering: participation is mandatory. (Tax stamps are similar to semi-postals, but consumers voluntarily pay for semi-postals.)

PostalTaxStampsCuba1941-1942

Tuberculosis tax stamps from Cuba, 1941 and 1942.

 

A popular source of charity for postal tax stamps in the past was tuberculosis, a disease that threatened many lives. Tuberculosis stamps usually featured the cross of Lorraine, the symbol of the fight against the disease.

Tax stamps are harder to find and collect because they’re less common than regular stamps. But if you do find them, you will have charming additions to your collection.

Do you collect postal tax stamps?

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