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After World War One, however, they declined in popularity, possibly due to being excluded from catalogues as the number of postage stamps issued rose rapidly and crowded revenues out.

The lowest point in revenue philately was during the middle years of the twentieth century.

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The Revenue Society has defined revenue stamps as " ...stamps, whether impressed, adhesive or otherwise, issued by or on behalf of International, National or Local Governments, their Licensees or Agents, and indicate that a tax, duty or fee has been paid or prepaid or that permission has been granted." Their use became widespread in the 19th century, partly inspired by the success of the postage stamp, and partly motivated by the desire to streamline government operations, the presence of a revenue stamp being an indication that the item in question had already paid the necessary fees.

Revenue stamps have become less commonly seen in the 21st century, with the rise of computerization and the ability to use numbers to track payments accurately.

Many different methods have been used to cancel revenue stamps, including pen cancels, inked handstamps, perforating, embossing, hole punching or simply tearing.

From around 1900, United States revenue stamps were required to be mutilated by cutting, after being affixed to documents, and in addition to being cancelled in ink.

A pre-printed revenue stamp appeared on many hundis of India.

In many countries, tobacco and alcohol are taxed by the use of excise stamps.While revenue stamps often resemble postage stamps, they are not normally intended for use on mail and therefore do not receive a postal cancellation.Some countries such as Great Britain have issued stamps valid for both postage and revenue, but this practice is now rare.MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance is planning to roll out by January new tax stamps for alcoholic products.In an interview, Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is targeting to issue by January 2018 the guidelines on the Internal Revenue Stamps Integrated System (IRSIS) for alcoholic products.For instance, the producer may buy stamps from the government which are then affixed to each bottle of alcohol or packet of cigarettes to show that tax has been paid.

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