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dollars for each offense, and no such bill of lading, manifest, or other memorandum shall be used in evidence unless it shall be duly stamped as aforesaid.

In the case of the American Express Company v. Fred A. Maynard, the United States Supreme Court has held, in an opinion filed April 16, 1900 (TREASURY DECISIONS, Int. Rev. No. 100), in construing the above provision, that the express company is not forbidden from shifting the burden of the stamp tax by an increase of rates which are not in themselves unreasonable.

The court did not hold that it was not the duty of the express company to give a duly stamped receipt to the shipper for each shipment, but that the tax might be shifted by an increased charge for transportation within the limits of what is reasonable.

In conformity with the foregoing opinion, the following rulings are promulgated for the guidance of all concerned :

1. The obligation of every carrier receiving goods for domestic transportation to issue a stamped receipt therefor, with the stamp duly canceled, is absolute and without exception, under a penalty for failure of $50 for each offense. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue has no jurisdiction whatever in the matter of the increased rate which the Supreme Court states the carrier may charge the shipper for the purpose of indemnifying himself for the stamp tax, except in the case of goods transported for the United States.

2. Where officers of the United States ship goods by carrier and the carrier has no existing contract with the United States, whereby the said goods are to be carried at a fixed rate, the stamped receipt must be issued to the officer by the carrier, and the officer may pay an additional rate, not exceeding 1 cent for any one shipment, and it will be allowed in his accounts.

3. Where officers of the United States ship goods by carrier, and the carrier has an existing contract with the United States, whereby such goods are to be carried at a fixed rate, the carrier must issue to the officer a stamped receipt duly canceled for each shipment, as in other cases, but the officer must not pay any increased rate for transportation, such rate having already been fixed by contract. See opinion of Attorney-General, dated August 26, 1899, published in TREASURY DECISIONS (Vol. 2, 1898, No. 19996).

The obligation of the carrier to issue duplicate receipts to shippers is not imperative, as in the case of originals, but if the carrier issues duplicates he must stamp them.

The word "receipt," whenever used in this circular, must be understood as including bills of lading, manifests, or other memoranda.

G. W. WILSON, Commissioner.



Imprinted stamps-List of contractors authorized to imprint stamps, also list of stamp agents, together with instructions as to procurement of said stamps.

[Int. Rev. Circular No. 541, revised.]



To collectors and stamp agents:

Washington, D. C., July 26, 1900.

The following list contains the names and addresses of all contractors authorized to imprint revenue stamps on checks, drafts, and other instruments for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1900, together with the name of the stamp agent in charge of imprinting stamps at each establishment:

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Persons desiring to have stamps imprinted upon checks, drafts, or other instruments will make application therefor themselves, or through their agents, who must not be a contractor for the imprinting of stamps, to a collector of internal revenue, transmitting or presenting with such application payment for the stamps. The application must state the name and address of the contractor who will imprint the stamps and should authorize the delivery of the instruments when stamped to the said contractor. Collectors will not accept money from contractors for stamps to be imprinted for other persons, under any circumstances, and stamp agents will refuse to imprint stamps except upon orders fully complying with these instructions. When orders are issued for stationers or other agents, for stamps to be imprinted for other persons,

the stamp agent to whom such order is directed must enter upon the back thereof the name of each person, firm, or corporation for whom stamps are imprinted on such order, together with the date and number of stamps imprinted for each. Upon receipt of application and payment for imprinted stamps the collector will forward to the stamp agent at the establishment of the contractor designated an order for the imprinting of the stamps and the delivery of the stamped paper to the contractor. Collectors should in all cases attach their seals to such orders, and transmit them by mail directly to the stamp agent to whom they are issued. Stamp agents must refuse to receive or recognize orders for imprinted stamps when presented or forwarded by any person other than the collector or deputy collector who issued the same. checks, drafts, or other instruments to be imprinted with revenue stamps should be forwarded by the person desiring the same, at his expense, directly to the contractor who will imprint the stamps. Stamps can not be imprinted on blank paper.


When the stamps are imprinted and delivered to the contractor, the agent must take the contractor's receipt therefor.

The Government will not pay any expense or assume any risk on instruments forwarded to contractors or on stamped instruments returned by contractors to owners.

The contractor's charge for imprinting stamps is limited by the terms of his contract with the Government to 80 cents per thousand stamps imprinted when imprinted upon sheets containing 5 or more stamps, and $1 per thousand stamps when imprinted upon sheets containing less than 5 stamps to the sheet, and payment for imprinting stamps should be made directly to the contractor. All stamps shall be imprinted at the price herein named, without discount or rebate, and only upon checks, drafts, or other instruments delivered entirely at the expense of the person, firm, or corporation presenting the same. When the stamps are imprinted and delivered to the contractor, he shall, under the direction and supervision of the stamp agent, at the contractor's expense, pack in the proper manner for shipment, all checks, drafts, or instruments upon which said stamps were imprinted by him, and ship the same wholly at the expense and according to the direction of the person, firm, or corporation that presented them. Contractors are prohibited from paying any transportation charges whatever on instruments forwarded them to be imprinted or on stamped instruments returned by them to the owners. They are also prohibited from giving, offering, or advertising any discount, rebate, or reduction in the printing of taxable instruments or claiming better facilities for such work by reason of their contract with the Government for the imprinting of stamps.

Any violation of the foregoing instructions by a contractor will be deemed sufficient cause for the cancellation of his contract, and any failure on the part of the stamp agent to immediately report to this


office the violation of any of the terms or conditions of said contract will be considered cause for his removal from office.


Where instruments imprinted with stamps are rendered worthless by accident or error in printing or binding, they may be returned to the stamp agent under whose supervision stamps were imprinted thereon with the application to imprint other stamps in lieu thereof on instruments presented for that purpose. Such application should be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth the facts that such stamped instruments were rendered worthless, the character of the error or accident, the number thereof, the date when and the collector from whom the stamps were purchased. Upon receipt of the application, the stamp agent will indorse his recommendation thereon and forward the same to the office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue for consideration. The spoiled stamped instruments thus returned to the stamp agents will be retained by them until an order is issued by the Commissioner for the destruction of the same under the supervision of a revenue officer. When destroyed, a joint certificate must be made by said officer and the stamp agent, stating the number and denomination of stamps destroyed, for whom and upon what order the same were imprinted, and the number of such stamps imprinted for each person, firm, or corporation, which certificate shall be forwarded to this office. Stamp agents will enter upon their records and reports the names of all persons for whom stamps are reimprinted, together with number of stamps and the original order upon which such stamps were reimprinted.

G. W. WILSON, Commissioner.


Stamp tax-Insurance policies.

Instruments evidencing insurance of, or guarantying titles to, real estate, taxable.



Washington, D. C., January 11, 1900.

To collectors of internal revenue and revenue agents:

It has come to the knowledge of this office that a number of corporations engaged in the business of insuring or guarantying titles to real estate have not been affixing to the documents evidencing this insurance or guarantying, the requisite stamps representing the tax accruing on the premium charged for such insurance or guarantyship.

You are, therefore, requested to cause an investigation to be made in

your respective districts and divisions, looking to the determination of whether or not such corporations are complying with the provisions of the act. These classes of instruments are taxable under the paragraph in Schedule A entited "Insurance (casualty, fidelity, and guarantee)." Under this paragraph, any person, association, company, or corporation transacting the business of insuring titles to real estate is required to affix to such policy of insurance, bond, or obligation stamps in the amount of one-half of 1 cent for each dollar or fractional part thereof of premium charged. Each contract or obligation executed by any such person, association, company, or corporation, under which title to real estate is guaranteed, is subject to the same taxation.

In cases where these documents have been issued without having affixed thereto the proper stamps as required by law, you will please report the circumstances to this office that the matter may receive the proper attention.


G. W. WILSON, Commissioner.

Stamp tax-Life-insurance policies.

When a life-insurance company unites with another company and the reorganized company assumes the risks of the absorbed company, no tax accrues on policies issued in lieu of the surrendered policies of the absorbed company unless an additional amount of insurance is written.



Washington, D. C., June 22, 1900. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th instant, relative to a report made to you by Revenue Agent James W. Martin, under date of May 31, 1900, respecting certain conditions attending the issuance of life-insurance policies by the Franklin Life Insurance Company, of Springfield, Ill. Revenue Agent Martin submits the following statements of facts:

First. The Franklin Life Association of Springfield, Ill., was duly organized under the laws of Illinois as an assessment company in July, 1884. The plan of this company was such as not to require a deposit of securities with the insurance department of the State of Illinois in order to secure the payment of risks. The company being operated on the assessment plan, no fixed rate of insurance per annum was provided for, the payment of losses being made by individual pro rata assessment.

Second. The People's Insurance Company of Springfield, Ill., was duly incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois on May 31, 1898, as a legal reserve company, and deposited with the insurance superintendent of the State of Illinois securities the face value of which was equal to $100,000, which were to be held as a guaranty to policy holders that the terms of the policies issued to them by the People's Insurance Company would be complied with as provided for under chapter 73, Revised Statutes of Illinois.

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