- Stamp Act
A stamp act is a law enacted by a government that requires a tax to be paid on the transfer of certain documents. Those that pay the tax receive an official stamp on their documents. The tax raised, called
stamp duty, was first devised in the Netherlandsin 1624after a public competition to find a new form of tax. A variety of products have been covered by stamp acts including playing cards, patent medicines, cheques, mortgages, contracts and newspapers. The items often have to be physically stamped at approved government offices following payment of the duty, although methods involving annual payment of a fixed sum or purchase of adhesive stamps are more practical and common.
Stamp acts were enforced in many countries, including
Australia, People's Republic of China, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, Israel, the United Kingdomand the United States of America.
tamp acts in Britain and America
English and United Kingdom Stamp Acts
1694 Stamp Act
Stamp Dutywas first introduced in Englandin 1694 following the Dutch model as "An act for granting to Their Majesties several duties on Vellum, Parchment and Paper for 10 years, towards carrying on the war against France" (5 & 6 Will. & Mar. c. 21). [cite book|last=Russell|first=David Lee|title=The American Revolution in the Southern Colonies|publisher= McFarland & Company|year=2000|pages=pp. 27|isbn=9780786407835] The duty ranged between 1 penny to several shillings on a number of different legal documents including insurance policies, documents used as evidence in courts, grants of honour, grants of probateand letters of administration. It raised around 50,000 pounds a year and although it was initially a temporary measure, it proved so successful that its use was continued
The British Stamp Act was the taxing of paper products by payable stamps.
1891 Stamp Act and Stamp Duties Management Act
All the above Acts were superseded by the Stamp Duties Management Act 1891 and the Stamp Act 1891 which still constitute the bulk of UK law on Stamp Duties today.
The modern UK Stamp Act
In 1914 The Director of Stamping at the Stamp Office oversaw the production of the first "Treasury Notes" (later called banknotes, not to be confused with US Treasury notes). This lasted until 1928 when production of banknotes passed from the Department to the
Bank of England. In 1963 production of postage stamps passed to the Post Office.
Finance Act 1986introduced Stamp Duty Reserve Tax. From 27 October 1986 the charge was imposed on 'closing' transactions at the London Stock Exchangewhich until then had been transactions where no document was used and therefore exempt from Stamp Duty.
A public display of Stamp Office artifacts and records was held at the
Courtauld Institutein 1994 to commemorate the three hundredth anniversary of the introduction of UK Stamp Duty. The Stamp Office was also awarded the Charter Markby John Major's Advisory Committee as a reward for its public service.
Stamp duties are the oldest taxes still raised by the
American Stamp Acts
1765 Stamp Act
The Stamp Act of 1765 was the fourth Stamp Act to be passed by the Parliament of Great Britain and required all legal documents, permits, commercial contracts, newspapers, wills, pamphlets, and playing cards in the American colonies to carry a tax stamp. The Act was enacted in order to pay for the maintaining of the military presence protecting the colonies. However, riots erupted as the colonists protested. To make things easier, Parliament appointed tax agents to collect the tax from the colonies. However, there was so much protest and rioting that the act was repealed on March 18, 1766.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.