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By the amendatory act of March 3, 1863 (8 7), the commissioner is authorized to prescribe such method for the cancellation of stamps, as a substitute for, or in addition to the method now prescribed by law, as he may deem expedient and effectual.

The cancellation may be done by a hand-press, with the initials of the person using the stamp, and date, changed daily.

A faithful compliance with the requirements of the law requires that the stamp so affixed must be canceled, in the manner prescribed, by the party making, signing, or issuing; in other words, executing the instrument, document, or paper.

Section 99 provides, “that the person using or affixing the stamp shall write thereupon the initials of his name, date,"

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Other portions of the law impose penalties upon persons who receive documents or articles subject to stamp-duty, from the person who makes, signs, and issues them, without being duly stamped, &c.

A faithful compliance with the requirements of the provisions of the excise law demands

First, That all papers subject to stamp tax shall have the stamp affixed before the same is issued.

Second, That the stamps so affixed must be canceled in the manner prescribed, by the party making, signing, or issuing (in other words, executing) the instrument, document, or paper.

Hence, the receiving of an unstamped paper is a violation of the law. The attaching and canceling of a stamp on a document so received, is also unlawful; and the cancellation of a stamp on a paper (otherwise lawfully issued) by other than the party executing the paper to which the stamp is affixed, is equally improper.

The only exception that exists, in the law, to the above ruling, is in the case of a bill of exchange, or order for the payment of any sum of money drawn, or purporting to be drawn, in any foreign country, but payable in the United States, in which case the acceptor or acceptors shall, before paying or accepting the same, place thereupon a stamp, indicating the duty upon the same, as provided by section 101 of the excise law. (Com'r Boutw., Decis. No. 34.) The omission to cancel the stamp on a check does not invalidate it, but the maker is liable to $50 fine.

ARTICLE 7.-COUNTERFEITING STAMPS. Forging, counterfeiting, or using forged or counterfeited stamps knowingly, and fraudulently cutting or tearing a stamp from an instrument, or aiding and abetting it, is declared a felony, and, on conviction, the convicted party must forfeit the counterfeited stamps, and the articles upon which they are placed, and may be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000, and by imprisonment not exceeding five years. (8 98.)

ARTICLE 8.-COMMISSIONER TO STAMP INSTRUMENTS EXEMPT

FROM DUTY. Any person may present to the commissioner any instrument, and require his opinion, whether or not it is chargeable with duty. If it is his opinion that it is not chargeable, he is required to impress thereon a particular stamp, signifying that such instrument requires no stamp. And every such instrument, so stamped, “shall be received in evidence in all courts of law and equity, notwithstanding any objection made to the same as being chargeable with stamp duty, and not stamped.” (S 103.)

CHAPTER II.

INSTRUMENTS REQUIRING STAMPS ENUMERATED.

(Following are the instruments, documents, papers, &c., enumer ated in Schedule B as subject to stamp-duty.]

Acknowledgment, or proof of an instrument by attesting wit

nesses, is not a certificate requiring a stamp. (Act of

March 3, '63, § 6.) Affidavits do not require stamps. “Sworn to," &c., is not a

certificate. Com'r Lewis, however, holds the contrary

view.
Agreements or contracts, other than those specified in

Schedule B, require, for each sheet or piece of
paper used, a stamp........................5 cents.

The only other contracts specified in Schedule B are contracts for the charter of vessels, &c., and brokers' memoranda of sales, which are marked "contract;" and now, contracts for the sale or purchase of coin, though many other of the specified objects amount, in law, to contracts. An “ agreement or contract,” therefore, must cover every conceivable obligation in writing by which the parties bind themselves to do, or not to do, anything; and which would be evidence against both the contracting parties. See ContRACTS. See DECISION on p. 313.

When an instrument contains agreements of several kinds, each of which, if separate, would require a stamp, it is necessary to affix a stamp equal to the aggregate amount of all the stamps required for the different agreements, if separate. Thus, Com'r Boutwell decides that a power of attorney “to sell stock, to vote at an election, to collect rent, and to sell real estate,” requires a $1.60 stamp. (N. Y. Trans., Oct. 31, '62.

An assignment of a mortgage, containing a guaranty of collection, requires an agreement stamp, in addition to the mortgage stamp.

Permits or agreements, by which the terms of a policy are varied or changed in any respect, require "agreement" stamps. (Com'r Boutw., Decis. No. 35.)

Appraisements of value or damage, or for any other

purpose, for each sheet or piece of paper used.. 5 cents Assignments or transfers of mortgages, leases, and policies of

insurance, require stamps equal to those imposed upon the original instrument."

This is one of the amendments adopted March 3, 1863, and renders inapplicable several decisions by the commissioner, to the effect that“ assignments” require no stamp. Assignments of other than the above instruments cannot now be deemed to require any stamp. But where an assignment-e. 9., an assignment of a mortgage contains a guaranty of amount due thereon, or of collection thereof, it is subject to tax as an “ agreement.” The same is true regarding assignments of letters patent. (Com'r Boutw., N. Y. Trans., Jan. 16, '63.)

As to assignments by trustee, see p. 310.
Bills of Exchange (INLAND).Drafts, orders or notes

for the payment of any sum of money exceeding
$20, otherwise than at sight or on demand, for
every $200 or fractional part thereof, if payable
on demand, or within 33 days, including grace,
from date or sight....................... 1 cent.
If payable at any time over 33 and not over

63 days, including grace............. 2 cents. If payable at any time over 63 and not over

93 days, including grace............. If payable at any time over 93 days and not

over four months, including grace..... 4 " If payable at any time over four months and

not over six months, including grace.. 6 " If payable at any time over 6 months, includ

ing grace........................ 10 " This is one of the amendments adopted March 3, 1863 ($ 6, p. 287, infra), and very greatly modifies the law in respect to stamps on inland bills, drafts and promissory notes. Before the amendment, the stamp-duty was rated entirely according to the amount of the instrument; as the law now stands, the time also controls the stamp. The duty on sight drafts, checks, &c., is not altered by the late amendments.

— (FOREIGN), or letters of credit, drawn in, but pay. able out of, the United States, if drawn singly or otherwise than in a set of three or more, according to the custom of merchants and bankers, same rates as inland bills, above.

If drawn in duplicate, both must be stamped.

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If drawn in sets of three or more, for every bill of each

set, where the sum does not exceed $150, or the
equivalent thereof in any foreign currency in which
such bills may be expressed, according to the stan-
dard fixed by the United States.....

$0.03 Above $150 and not above $250.....

66 250 " 6 500.
66 500 0 6 1,000....
6 1,000 “ “ 1,500
6 1:500 " " 2,250..
4 2.250 6 " 3,500.
3,500 "

o 5,000........
66 5.000

7500..

1.00 For every $2,500, or part thereof, in excess of

$7,500........................... 30 Though the several States, in mercantile law, are foreign to each other, yet from the wording of the statute, defining a foreign bill to be one “ drawn in, but payable out of, the United States," it is clear that a bill drawn in one State, and payable in another, is to be regarded an inland bill for the purposes of this act.

Where any bill of exchange or order for the payment of money is drawn out of, but payable in, the United States, the acceptor, before paying or accepting the same, must place upon it the proper stamp, as the law requires for inland bills or notes. ($ 101.)

The penalty for paying or negotiating, or offering in payment or receiving in payment, such draft or order, is $100. (10.) Bills of Lading or receipt (other than charter-party) for

goods to be exported from the United States
to any foreign port....................... 10 cents.

This does not apply to vessels plying between United States ports and ports in British North America. (Schedule B.)

There is no provision, as in the case of foreign bills of ex. change, requiring stamps for each set, when drawn in triplicate. Bill of Sale by which any ship or vessel, or any part thereof,

is conveyed to, or vested in, another-
When the consideration does not exceed $500,

stamp........................... 25 cents. When the consideration exceeds $500, and

does not exceed $1,000, stamp........ 50 "

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