Sánchez, Ferguson re-introduce bipartisan bill to allow tax deductions for expenses related to funeral and cemetery trusts

July 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA) and Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA) re-introduced legislation that would restore appropriate tax deductions for advisory expenses related to funeral and cemetery trusts. This bill would restore deductions that were suspended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017.

“When families lay their loved ones to rest, they deserve peace of mind in knowing the memorials they leave behind will be properly cared for from generation to generation. The inability to deduct certain expenses related for burial costs has threatened the financial solvency of the trusts that must fulfill that sacred obligation to families,” said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez. “When trusts are no longer able to cover needed upkeep, cash-strapped state and local governments are often ultimately on the hook for their fiduciary responsibility. This bill would enable the trusts to retain more income, so cemetery authorities and funeral homes can carry out their duties and meet the needs of those already struggling with grief.”

“As families deal with irreplaceable loss, they shouldn't have to worry about the legacy and care of their loved ones' final resting places,” Congressman Drew Ferguson said. “From my time as a mayor, I understand firsthand the financial responsibility to maintain community cemeteries, which is why the solvency of funeral trusts is immensely important to families as well as small local governments. Families, funeral homes, and municipalities deserve our support when making financial decisions to preserve our local cemeteries. I'm proud to join my colleague, Rep. Sanchez, in reintroducing this important bill to ease the financial burden on communities and this essential industry.”

The loss of the deduction option has been particularly impactful to the deathcare industry because funeral homes and cemeteries utilize trusts uniquely from traditional trusts where funds are provided to a beneficiary. Despite the lower tax rates authorized for trusts under the TCJA, many cemetery and funeral trusts are now paying more in taxes because the taxable income of many trusts is now higher without the deduction. 

This bill would enable the trusts to retain more income, so cemetery authorities and funeral homes can carry out their duties and meet their contractual obligations.

You can view the full bill text here.

 

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