View Full Version : Postage Stamps on receipts
19-09-2010, 3:10 PM
My other half's mother was showing us some bills and receipts from the late 40s and early 50s for her engagement ring, wedding ring, items of furniture, white goods, carpets, etc. The wedding and engagement ring receipts from 1949 and 1950, and also a receipt for a divan from 1953 had a postage stamp for a couple of pennies and we wondered why. She was adamant that this was not tax as the engagement ring was second hand so they did not have to pay tax. I don't think this is connected to the value as some of the other receipts were for higher values.
I just wondered if anyone has an idea of what these stamps were for and why.
19-09-2010, 3:23 PM
The sum total of my knowledge on this topic is in this thread :-
19-09-2010, 3:59 PM
I have to say that my first thought was that it must be connected in some way to the 'tax' paid on cheques in ye olde days, aka the 1960s :biggrin: because in those days you had to pay 2d (two old pence for you youngsters!) per cheque. i.e. when you ordered a new cheque book your account was debited four shillings for a book of twenty four cheques.
Here my memory goes a bit hazy, but I think it was an oval-shaped stamp, definitely on the right-hand side of the cheque above the amount box, and I think in red. I'm just trying to think if it said 'stamp duty' or 'stamp duty paid' insde the the stamp. Surprisingly, I can't see anything on Wikipedia about it in the section on cheques.
Had another stab at finding an answer. A google search for 'government stamp duty on cheques' leads to a Wikpedia entry headed 'Stamp duty' where I think the first paragraph mainly explains things.
Also found this www.
chequeandcredit.co.uk/information/-/page/taxes_and_stamp_duty/ Pity they didn't show an old cheque with the stamp duty 'symbol' on it.
Added: Just read that last link properly, and have found that that was why the words 'postage' and 'revenue' used to be on postage stamps. Amazing what you learn through BG. :smile5:
19-09-2010, 4:16 PM
It appears that the requirement for putting stamps on receipts was brought in by the 1891 Stamp Act in order to raise money for the Government. The 1920 Finance Act specified that any receipt for something worth £2.00 or over should have a twopence stamp attached. If it didn’t then the receipt was apparently not valid in a court of law(1). Stamps on receipts were abolished by the 1964 Finance Act http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1964/jun/18/new-clause-abolition-of-stamp-duty-on
19-09-2010, 4:16 PM
|woohoo| Found a piccie! http://www.
Scroll down to 'crossed and uncrossed', and if you click on the cheque image, it will enlarge, and 'two pence' is written inside the 'stamp duty' stamp.
Ooh, yes. Malcolm's bit about the 'anything over £2' reminded me that crafty bank clerks used to withdraw £1.19s.11d to save having to pay the 2d duty payable if they'd wanted to withdraw £2.0s.0d. That was in the days when £1 used to give you entrance to Boston Gilderdrome to see such people/groups as Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy Fury, Dusty Springfield, etc. (Sorry, gone slightly off-topic there! :smile5:)
19-09-2010, 9:22 PM
The equivalent receipt now is most probably the VAT receipt,
Stamp Duty still exists in the form of a levy on property sales, land transactions, share transactions etc
21-09-2010, 8:58 AM
Thanks everyone, that's very interesting.
I think we should keep this one quiet or the government /banks may latch onto these various ways of taking more money from us again! :euro:
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