Stamp Act

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 Netherlands in 1624 after 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 Kingdom and the United States of America.

tamp acts in Britain and America

English and United Kingdom Stamp Acts

1694 Stamp Act

A Stamp Duty was first introduced in England in 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 probate and 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All the above Acts were superseded by the Stamp Duties Management Act 1891 and the Stamp Act 1891 which still constitute the bulk of UK law on Stamp Duties today.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.

The Finance Act 1986 introduced Stamp Duty Reserve Tax. From 27 October 1986 the charge was imposed on 'closing' transactions at the London Stock Exchange which 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 Institute in 1994 to commemorate the three hundredth anniversary of the introduction of UK Stamp Duty. The Stamp Office was also awarded the Charter Mark by John Major's Advisory Committee as a reward for its public service.

Stamp duties are the oldest taxes still raised by the Inland Revenue.

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.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stamp act — Stamp Stamp, n. 1. The act of stamping, as with the foot. [1913 Webster] 2. The which stamps; any instrument for making impressions on other bodies, as a die. [1913 Webster] T is gold so pure It can not bear the stamp without alloy. Dryden. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • STAMP ACT — (1765) Loi promulguée en 1765 par le roi George III d’Angleterre et imposant un droit de timbre sur les actes légaux, les annonces publicitaires et la presse dans les colonies américaines. Le Stamp Act devait permettre par les ressources ainsi… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Stamp Act — Stamp Act, the a British law made in 1765 which put a tax on Britain s colonies in North America. According to this law, various documents had to carry a stamp, which had to be paid for. This caused a lot of anger in the colonies, and opponents… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Stamp Act — Stamp′ Act n. amh. an act of the British Parliament (1765) for raising revenue in the American colonies by requiring that documents, newspapers, etc., bear an official stamp …   From formal English to slang

  • Stamp Act —   [stæmp ækt, englisch], britisches Gesetz, Stempelakte …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Stamp Act — n. a law passed by the British Parliament in 1765 to raise revenue, requiring that stamps be used for all legal and commercial documents, newspapers, etc. in the American colonies: it was repealed in March, 1766, because of strong colonial… …   English World dictionary

  • Stamp Act — Le Stamp Act (en français : « loi sur le droit de timbre ») est une loi adoptée par un gouvernement qui impose une taxe sur le transfert de certains documents tels que les actes de propriété. Les personnes payant cette taxe reçoivent un …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Stamp Act — Amer. Hist. an act of the British Parliament for raising revenue in the American Colonies by requiring the use of stamps and stamped paper for official documents, commercial writings, and various articles: it was to go into effect on November 1,… …   Universalium

  • Stamp Act — noun an act passed by the British Parliament in 1756 that raised revenue from the American Colonies by a duty in the form of a stamp required on all newspapers and legal or commercial documents; opposition by the Colonies resulted in the repeal… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Stamp Act — Der Stamp Act (deutsch: „Stempelgesetz“, „Stempelsteuergesetz“, „Stempelakte“ oder auch „Steuermarkengesetz“) war ein Gesetz zum Erlass einer Stempelsteuer, das am 22. März 1765 durch das britische Parlament verabschiedet und ab November 1765… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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