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them, it will be sufficient if the several forms be attached securely together and one stamp attached to all.

(18) If goods are consigned to a shipper's agent or to John Doe at an intermediate point and sold en route and reconsigned to another point than that named in the original bill of lading, stamps will be required on new bills of lading if any are issued.

(19) In case of shipments of material by a railroad or traction system and its subsidiary companies for exclusive uses of such companies, no internal revenue stamp will be required.

(20) A check given in case of excess baggage does not require a stamp.

(21) Export bills of lading to foreign countries are not required to be stamped. Through bills of lading for shipment from inland points to New York or other seaports by rail and from there by ocean passage are required to be stamped.

(22) When a shipment is made by land from New York to Montreal, Canada, the bill of lading is required to be stamped, as it is an inland shipment as well as an export shipment.

(23) Bills of lading for shipment to Porto Rico and other insular possessions of the United States require stamps.

(24) Bills of lading for export shipments to Cuba are not required to be stamped.

(25) No stamp is required upon State shipments of State property for which, if a stamp were issued, the State government would be required to pay.

(26) The stamp should be affixed to bills of lading, not to dray tickets.

(27) The law as to stamping bills of lading, etc., does not apply to shippers by parcel post.

(28) A stamp is not required to be placed on receipts issued for return of empty cars on which railroads make no charge for return haul of empty car, the charge made on loaded car covering the return of the empty car.

(29) An order given for return of refused or unclaimed freight should bear stamp if it takes place of bill of lading or other evidence of receipt and forwarding.

(30) Transfer receipts covering shipments for which a bill of lading has been issued at points of shipment, the transfer receipts being merely a passing record of shipment from the terminus of a line to a connecting line, are not regarded as subject to stamp tax as bills of lading.

(31) When a contractor ships goods to a bureau of the Government or Government officers for Government use such goods under the terms of his contract being delivered f. o. b. at point of ship

ment, the contractor must pay for the stamp on the bill of lading, though a Government bill of lading is used. Per contra, goods refused or rejected and shipped back to the contractor will not require stamp on the bill of lading, the Government being then the shipper.


(32) In connection with the inquiries presented to this office concerning the application of T. D. 2065 exempting receipts for packages given by local operators from taxation under the act of October 22, 1914, this office now states that the said decision was primarily intended to apply to persons and concerns of small capital doing business of porters and messengers subject to call, such as the moving of furniture from house to house, of baggage to and from railroad depots, etc. This office holds such transactions exempt, even though they extend beyond actual municipal limits into suburbs, or into the territory and suburbs of immediately adjacent separate cities or municipalities, or of cities or towns separated by a river or other body of water, even though in a different State, if such cities are connected by bridges or common ferries running under regular schedule.

It was not intended that the exemption should be construed to extend to railroad companies, even though located entirely in one city, or steamboat companies, even though plying solely in waters adjacent to or between cities, or to the local business of the great cities of the large express companies having organizations extending over a number of States, or even to the large corporations and companies having highly organized systems within the great cities whereby large numbers of packages are gathered at a central office and there distributed, sometimes by the use of railroads, to branch offices for ultimate delivery.

(33) Street railway companies are subject to the requirements of the law when they accept for transportation goods, parcels, and packages as part of their regular business. In that case they do not come within the exemption of T. D. 2065, which applies to local deliveries.

(34) Overland express connecting closely located but separate cities and towns, traveling over regular route. Receipts taxable.

(35) It is not necessary to attach a stamp to each receipt given to a truckman for transportation of packages from various wharves to appraisers' stores, when ordered there by the Government for examination, or cartage of unclaimed and seized goods to public stores, or the local carriage of any Government property.

(36) Bills of lading and manifests are not required in case of carters who make local deliveries in a town or city from one part of the city to another.

(37) If freight is moved by wagon, etc., to or from a railroad depot by a local hauling concern for which it gives receipts such receipts do not require tax.

All rulings inconsistent herewith are hereby revoked.


Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

(T. D. 2114.)

Emergency revenue law- Mutual fire insurance companies.

Policies of mutnal companies which obtain profit not exempt, except as to reserve funds required by State law or as to working balance in bank.



Washington, D. C., January 5, 1915.

To collectors of internal revenue and others concerned:

Concerning the provision of the act of October 22, 1914, exempting policies issued by mutual fire insurance companies from taxation thereunder, this office has previously ruled that companies or associations which obtain profit either from premiums received from nonmembers or from the investment of their funds do not come within such exemption.

It has, however, been lately brought to the attention of this office that in some States by State law mutual companies are compelled to maintain a certain amount of reserve, and such laws sometimes direct the manner in which such reserve funds shall be invested. The previous ruling of this office is therefore modified to the extent that no mutual fire insurance company which has reserve funds invested in any one of alternative ways in the minimum amount required by State law shall be thereby taken out of the exemption of the act of October 22, 1914, covering policies issued by mutual fire insurance companies.

It is further ruled that the mere deposit of a working cash balance of an insurance company otherwise within the exemption under consideration for safe-keeping in a bank shall not be held sufficient to take such company out of such exemption even though such deposit bears interest in an amount usually paid by such bank on checking accounts. All rulings inconsistent herewith are hereby revoked.


Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

(T. D. 2115.)

Emergency revenue law-Conveyances.

Relative to deeds, transfers of real estate, etc.



Washington, D. C., January 4, 1915.

SIR: This office is in receipt of your letter of December 24, 1914, relating to the taxability of deeds, etc., under the provisions of the internal-revenue act of October 22, 1914, and in reply you are advised as follows:

The said act provides that a deed, instrument, or writing whereby any lands, tenements, or other realty sold shall be granted, assigned, transferred, or otherwise conveyed, when the consideration or value of the interest or property conveyed, exclusive of the value of any lien or encumbrance thereon, exceeds $100 and does not exceed $500 shall be subject to a tax of 50 cents, and for each additional $500 or fractional part thereof in excess of $500, 50 cents. For instance, where a property is sold for $2,000, $1,000 of which is received in cash and a promissory note for the balance, the tax to be imposed upon the deed should be computed on the basis of the cash received and the said promissory note becomes subject to the tax imposed upon such instruments, i. e., $1 on the deed and 20 cents on the note.

In the case of a deed which states that the transfer is made for a nominal consideration or a consideration of $1, the tax must be computed upon the actual value of the interest or property conveyed, the amount of any lien or encumbrance being deducted, and the person who executes the deed is required to affix stamps thereto, and becomes liable to penalty if stamps in a sufficient amount, based upon the actual value of the consideration given, are not so affixed.

A deed which is executed, dated, and delivered prior to December 1, 1914, is not subject to tax under the provisions of the said act, and, therefore, may be accepted for record subsequent to that date without having documentary stamps affixed thereto.

A deed which was dated prior to December 1, 1914, but was acknowledged before a notary public and delivered subsequent to that date, is taxable.

Section 13 of the said act provides that it shall not be lawful to record or register any instrument, paper, or document required by law to be stamped unless stamp or stamps of the proper amount shall have been affixed and canceled in the manner prescribed by law.

Where a deed is presented to a recording officer and it appears probable that an insufficient amount of internal-revenue stamps are attached thereto, and he is not satisfied with the explanation fur

nished by the party offering the same for record, he should notify the collector of internal revenue. It is not expected that the recording officer will institute an investigation to see whether there has been any violation of the law, nor is it thought that he should exact an affidavit showing the true consideration.

A contract for the sale of real estate which provides for the issuance of a deed at some future date upon the fulfillment of certain conditions is not subject to tax if executed by the owner of the land. If executed by a broker it is subject to a tax of 10 cents.

A partition deed which is operative in defining boundary lines or in showing by location each tenant in common's interest is not subject to tax.

A quitclaim deed given for no consideration or merely the nominal consideration of $1 for the purpose of correcting a flaw in title is not subject to tax. No tax is imposed upon an option for the purchase of real property.

Oil leases, leases of mining property, long-term mining leases, etc., which in themselves convey no title to or interest in real property are exempt from tax.

Deeds in escrow do not become subject to the said tax until the final delivery is made. Therefore, if delivery of such a deed is made subsequent to December 1, 1914, it becomes subject to the tax imposed upon conveyances.

Deeds of release and deeds of trust are exempt from tax under the provisions of the said act.

Deeds issued by masters in chancery, sheriffs, etc., to cover transfer of property sold under a foreclosure or execution are subject to tax, the cost of which may be added to the court costs.

Deeds to burial sites which do not convey title to land, but only a right to sepulture, to erect monuments, etc., are exempt from tax. A deed issued to cover a gift of property from husband to wife, or from parent to child, or from an individual to a municipality or other political subdivision, wherein the consideration named is "natural love and affection and $1," "desire to promote public welfare and $1," or "$1 and other valuable considerations" is not taxable.

In the case of an exchange of two properties, the deeds transferring title to each are subject to tax, which should in each case be computed on the basis of the actual value of the interest or property conveyed, the amount of any lien or incumbrance being deducted.

A deed executed by a debtor covering an assignment of property to a trustee to be held for the benefit of a creditor is not subject to tax. When, however, the trustee sells or conveys such property, either to the creditor or any other person, the deeds executed by him are taxable.

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