Chapter 20

The INTERNAL REVENUE stamps issued prior to January 1, 1905, were of the same denominations as the Spanish Philippines Timbre Movil Especial stamps of 1898, and their use was governed by the Spanish Philippines laws that created Timbre Movil Especial stamps.

Forbin lists as INTERNAL REVENUE stamps, the Timbre Movil Especial stamps of 1898 handstamped “U.S. INTERNAL REVENUE”. These stamps might be properly classified as Timbre Movil stamps. The writer has chosen, however, to follow Forbin in classifying them as INTERNAL REVENUE stamps. These stamps were described in 1903 by Dr. James C. Perry, as follows:

 “…..provisional receipt stamps were made by surcharging the Spanish issue of 1898-99 with “U.S. INTERNAL REVENUE”. A rubber stamp being used for the purpose. The surcharge is in blue. These stamps were used during the same period as those surcharged with initials except that their first issue occurred two months later.”

Type I. “U.S. – INTERNAL REVENUE” in three lines of sans serif capitals, the letters “U.S.” are 3mm high and the others 2-1/2mm.

Type II. “U.S.” in center, in narrow Roman capitals 5mm high. “INTERNAL” curved above and “REVENUE” curved below, in sans serif capitals 2mm high.

Type III. “U.S. – INTERNAL – REVENUE” in three lines of small Roman capitals 1-3/4mm high.

“The surcharges came into use in the order in which they are described. The stamps surcharged with Type I  are he most common, since only a few of the other types were issued and consequently they are very rare. As in the initialed provisionals, the 1c de peso and 2c de peso are very scarce, in fact almost unobtainable.” [128]

The stamps which Dr. Perry calls “receipt” stamps are those which are usually called Timbre Movil stamps. Her gave August 20, 1898, as the date of issue of the Timbre Movil stamps surcharged with handwritten initials. Hence, he fixed October 1898 as the date of issue of the rubber-stamped surcharges above described. These stamps are not found, however, on any of the numerous customs documents issued between September 1898 and the end of January 1899, which were included in  Dr. Perry’s collection. The only stamps dated prior to the end of January 1899, were those surcharged with handwritten initials. Furthermore, all used specimens of the rubber-stamped surcharges which were found in Dr. Perry’s collection were cancelled during the period from March to July 1899. These include specimens of Type I on original documents dated in July 1899. Hence, it is possible that one or more of the three rubber-stamped surcharges may have been issued during the month of February 1899. But the writer does not believe that they appeared prior to the month of February 1899. It is also very doubtful that the Type II surcharge was applied to the 1c, 2c and 5c denomination of Timbre Movil stamps. The only specimens of this surcharge found in Dr. Perry’s collection were on the 10c de peso; and this is the only denomination bearing the Type II surcharge which was listed by Mr. A. Forbin in his Catalogue de Timbres Fiscaux published in 1915. The three types may have been issued in the order named by Dr. Perry. But the writer is inclined to believe that Type III was issued first, perhaps in February 1899, and that very few examples of this type were issued because the letters were so  small that the surcharge did not print clearly. Type III may have been followed by Type I and Type Ii in the order named, although these latter types must have been issued almost simultaneously. Specimens of both Types I and II cancelled in March 1899, have been seen. Only one specimens of Type II with a dated cancellation has been seen by the writer. The cancellation reads “A de 99”, which is to say “Año de 1899” (Year of 1899).

The first regular issue of INTERNAL REVENUE stamps began to appear in May 1899. This issue was used for the same purposes and consisted of the same denominations as the TIMBRE MOVIL stamps which it replaced. The stamps were lithographed in Manila and were labeled “UNITED STATES INTERNAL REVENUE – PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.” There are eleven stars above the eagle within the central oval. Only 5,000 of the 1-centimo denomination was printed. The 2-centimos and 10-centimos appeared in May, and the 1-0centimo and 5-centimos in July 1899. Dr. Perry lists as issued in 1899: one printing of the 1-centimo; four printings of the 2-centimos; two printings of the 5-centimos and three printings of the 10-centimos. He also lists numerous printings of the same issue as made during 1900 and 1901; and two printings of the 2-centimos and one printing of the 5-centimos as released in 1902. He fails to note that there were two distinct types of these stamps. The first type has eleven stars above the eagle. The second type has only nine stars above the eagle.

From the dates of issued noted beneath the specimens in Dr. Perry’s collection, however, it appears that the type with eleven stars above the eagle appeared in 1899, and the type with nine stars above the eagle appeared in 1900, although some of the shades of the latter did not appear until 1901. Dr. Perry lists indicates that the 1-centimo with nine stars above the eagle did not appear until June 1901, and that only one printing of 4,000 was made. The color of the 10-centimos, nine stars above the eagle, was changed from brown to green in January 1901. Dr. Perry lists the 5-centimos dark blue, pin perforation 15, as issued in 1899. This is probably incorrect since this stamp has nine stars above the eagle and is therefore of the type as the printings of 1900 and 1901. The use of the 1-centimo and 5-centimos denominations was, according to Dr. Perry “discontinued in September 1902, since there was little use for these denominations.” [129]

An issue consisting of the 2-centimos and 10-centimos denominations only, printed from electrotype plates appeared in October 1902, according to Dr. Perry. This issue is similar in type to the issue of 19090-1901, but the letters and figures of the labels are in color instead of white. These stamps have the same wide margins and the same clean-cut perforations as the series of GIRO stamps issued in 1902. It is probable that they were executed by the same printer. These stamps are listed by Forbin as issued in 1902, probably erroneously.

Forbin lists as issued in 1900, three blue GIRO stamps of the 1899 issue handstamped “U.S. MILITARY GOVERNMENT – 1900 – INTERNAL REVENUE”. The denominations listed are: 15-centimos, 20-centimos and 30-centimos. The writer has not seen these stamps but he believes that, if issued, they were used as a substitute for the current SELLO stamps of the 40c, 50c and possibly, 1p denominations. Used blocks of 4 of the 5c and 10c INTERNAL REVENUE stamps of 1899 and of the 10c denomination of 1900 indicate that these INTERNAL REVENUE stamps were used as a substitute for the current SELLO stamps. Internal Revenue stamps used in this manner were not surcharged, however. But GIRO stamps were destined for a specific purpose which was stated in the labels on the stamps. Hence, it may have been felt that in order to use GIRO stamps for any other purpose a surcharge must be applied. Certainly it was not necessary to surcharge the GIRO stamps of 1899 and subsequent issues of GIRO stamps of 1899 in order to male them available for use as GIRO stamps in 1900. The issue of 1899 and subsequent issues remained in use until the supply was exhausted. The writer has seen a specimen of the 8-pesos GIRO stamp of 1899 which was cancelled in 1908. On the other hand, the INTERNAL REVENUE stamps issued prior to 1905 were of the same denominations as the Spanish Philippines TIMBRE MOVIL ESPECIAL stamps which they replaced, and their use was governed by the Spanish Philippines laws governing the use of Timbre Movil Especial stamps. These laws did not require denominations higher than 10c.

The INTERNAL REVENUE stamps issued prior to January 1, 1905, were used principally in payment of the stamp tax on receipts and accounts, but were also used in payment of certain taxes on customs documents, and sometimes used in lieu of the current SELLO stamps. The creation of special CUSTOMS stamps in 1902 eliminated the use of INRTERNAL REVENUE stamps on customs documents. These were the only documents on which the 5-centimos denomination was required. Hence, subsequent to 1902 there were no further need for a 5-centimos INTERNAL REVENUE stamp. In so far as the writer has been able to learn, there was never at any time any real necessity for the 1-centimo denomination. It was for these reason that the use of the 1-centimo and 5-centimos denominations was discontinued in 1902 and that the series of INTERNAL REVENUE stamps issued in 1902consisted of only two denominations: 2-centimos and 10-centimos. These denominations continued to be used in payment of the stamp tax on receipts and accounts until they were replaced for this purpose by ADOCUMENTARY stamps on January 1, 1905.