A revenue stamp or tax stamp or fiscal stamp is an adhesive label used to collect taxes or fees on documents, tobacco, alcoholic drinks, drugs and medicines, playing cards, hunting licenses, firearm registration, and many other things.
Typically businesses purchase the stamps from the government and attach them to taxed items as part of putting the items on sale, or in the case of documents, as part of filling out the form.
The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) started implementing tax stamps on cigarettes manufactured, distributed and imported into Malawi on 1st May 2011, following the passing of the Customs and Excise amendment bill of 2008 under Section 77.
The cigarette tax stamps have special security features and they are affixed on a prescribed position on the cigarette packet to distinguish complaint cigarettes from smuggled and counterfeit products.
Every cigarette stamp issued constitutes revenue payable to the Malawi Government and manufacturers are therefore required to compile a monthly reconciliation statement by the 20th of the month succeeding the month in which it was due.
All local manufacturers, importers and distributors of cigarettes in Malawi are required to apply for registration by filling Form CE28C and shall be issued with a license. When submitting the application form to MRA, it should be accompanied with the applicant’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN), Certificate of Incorporation and Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC).
The cigarette manufacturer, importer or distributor’s license shall be valid for one year subject to renewal but new applications can be forwarded to MRA at any time. Foreign manufacturers shall ensure that all cigarette packets have the tax stamps prior to exportation to Malawi. The same applies to local manufacturers and distributors.
Cigarette tax stamps promote lawful trade by minimizing smuggling, protecting local industries that manufacture cigarettes from unfair competition, protecting people from consuming unbranded and counterfeit cigarettes that pose health risks and enhancing tax compliance.