This site is dedicated to the stamps & postal history of British Empire "War Tax" stamp issues.

     "War Tax" stamps were issued by various entities within the British Empire (see list below) during World War I (and in the case of North Borneo, during World War II) to help fund the war effort.   Generally these stamps were regular stamp issues that were overprinted with the words "WAR", "WAR TAX" or "WAR STAMP".

      The War Tax Acts in most colonies and countries stated that the War Tax stamps were to be used in addition to whatever postage & registration fees were due on the item being mailed (postcards, letters & parcels in some cases).   While the stamps were supposed to be used just to pay for the War Tax, many times they were also used to pay part of the postage and registration fees (as long as the total amount with the war tax was correct, it appears that most countries did not seem to mind).

      Finding mint (unused) War Tax stamps is easy, collectors and dealers bought them in large quantities.   Finding War Tax stamps used on cover is a bit more difficult.   While on-cover examples from places like Canada and many of the Caribbean islands is easy, finding them on-cover from Bermuda, Fiji, Gibraltar, Gilbert & Ellice Islands and the Gold Coast is extremely difficult.

      If you want to read more about War Tax stamps and their usages, you may want to consider ordering my electronic book on CD.

      The countries & colonies that issued War Tax stamps during World War I were:

  1. Antigua
  2. Bahamas
  3. Barbados
  4. Bermuda
  5. British Guiana
  6. British Honduras
  7. Canada
  8. Cayman Islands
  9. Ceylon
  10. Dominica
  11. Falkland Islands
  12. Fiji
  13. Gibraltar
  14. Gilbert & Ellice Islands
  15. Gold Coast
  16. Grenada
  17. Jamaica
  18. Malta
  19. Montserrat
  20. New Zealand
  21. St. Helena
  22. St. Kitts / Nevis
  23. St. Lucia
  24. St. Vincent
  25. Trinidad & Tobago
  26. Turks & Caicos Islands
  27. (British) Virgin Islands

     Above:  St. Vincent War Tax stamp on a St. Vincent picture postcard mailed to Seto, France, postmarked in Kingstown on July 8, 1917.  A nice item that is difficult to find.     Note: Kingstown is spelled incorrectly as "Kingston" (since it was occasionally confused with Kingston, Jamaica by some people).