2006.05 GST Exemption on Funeral Services

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Whereas, The current cost of funeral services is subject to the Goods and Services Tax; and

Whereas, The federal government has the authority to identify certain goods and services as being zero rated or exempt; therefore, be it

Resolved, That the national council of The Catholic Women's League of Canada, in 86th annual national convention assembled, urge the federal government to exempt funeral services from the Goods and Services Tax.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into effect on January 1, 1991. The GST law is contained in the Excise Tax Act and administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. The GST is charged on all goods and services except certain items that are either exempt or zero rated.

Section 182 (a) and (b) of the Criminal Code deals with the proper disposal of human remains. Penalties are set out and cover all jurisdictions in Canada. Each province has enacted specific legislation to cover the actual disposal of human remains.

In Canadian culture, the responsibility for disposal has been given to those involved in the delivery of funeral services. This has made said services essential. Currently, all funeral services are subject to the GST.

Government of Canada, Criminal Code, Section 182, 1985.

Excise Tax Act , Schedule V, Subsection 123(1) and Schedule VI, Subsection 123(1), 1985.

Towards Replacing the Goods & Services Tax, Annex B, <<www.fin.gc.ca/GSTOV/gstov12e.html#annexb>> (June 15, 2006).

Requested Members' Action:

  • Write letters to the prime minister, the federal minister of finance and a copy to your local MP urging the federal government to exempt funeral services from the Goods and Services Tax.
  • Provide opportunities to educate members with respect to this matter.