Death AND Taxes

So I was driving home from work yesterday and as I was driving by the local cemetery, as one does who lives in location in which a cemetery is located between their home and office, and I noticed a new sign on their lawn:

Here’s a close up of the sign:

So, yeah, just a heads up – if you are planning to die in BC in the next little while, you might want to do it in the next 21 days in order to avoid the 7% hike in taxes that will occur once the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) kicks in on July 1.

Or, you know, you can just purchase all your funeral needs in Washington state, where they will exempting BC residents from sales tax after July 1!

9 Replies to “Death AND Taxes”

  1. Wow, I read the whole link on the BC tax mess and all I can say is I’m glad we’re not the only place with stupid politicians. I give 50/50 odds on BC’s new, higher tax actually producing a net gain in state, sorry, I mean province, revenue by this time next year. About how much of BCs population is made up of the Vancouver metro area?

    Jon

  2. Dude, this is a HUGE phenomenon in ON and BC right now. As in – my Mom is heading to Kingston so that my Nonna can book all the arrangements and pay for her (future) funeral on Monday. You can prepay funeral expenses at current rates and not have to worry about inflation, etc. My parents did that a couple years ago (I now have all their funeral prep stuff). So – people can die decades from now, secure in the knowledge that they only paid 5% tax on their expenses…

    (In other random news – my security words are “in Nazareth”.)

  3. @extragood – According to Wikipedia, Greater Vancouver has a population of ~2.1 million and the population of BC is ~4.1 million (those numbers are from the 2006 Census). What state are you in? Your comment about your “stupid politicians” has piqued my interested!

    @Sarah – While it may be fiscally prudent, doesn’t it seem *morbid* to have your parents’ funeral arrangements made? Plus, they will hopefully be around for 20+ years still – what if they change their minds about what they want? My mother maintains that when she goes we should “put her in a green garbage bag and put her on the curb on Thursday!” – I believe that plan would be tax-free! 😉

  4. So more than 50% of the population of BC lives within driving distance to the States and they don’t think people are going to shop where it’s cheaper? That’s pretty unbelievable!

    I live in Iowa where they’re trying to destroy our entire educational system to balance the state budget because it’s the only thing left to cut, but my stupid politicians comments was referring to the US federal government level in general with all the economic downturn decisions and rhetoric.

    Apparently you can pay for your funeral expenses ahead of time because that’s what my in-laws have done. They already have a stone on the plot and the company contracted to come out and carve the “died” date on it when they pass on! I imagine the funeral home, or whoever you prepay to, is perfectly happy to accept payment years in advance and just puts the money in an investment account to mitigate inflation, but I’d think it’d make more sense, fiscally, to put said money in a trust fund and specify it in your will, then your descendants get to keep the interest on your investment instead of the funeral home.

    As far as it being morbid, I guess, but everybody dies! In a way, it’s kind of ridiculous NOT to be prepared for it since it’s the only thing guaranteed to occur. If you ask me, life insurance is more morbid because they’re betting how much money they make on how long you live. Prepaying your funeral is kind of like self-insuring your life.

  5. I was talking to someone last night about this and apparently the funeral homes are betting on the fact that some of the people who pre-pay their funeral will forget to tell their relatives and then the relatives will buy another funeral and the original funeral home will get your money but never have to provide any service in return.

  6. They’re all just a bunch of greedy morbid bastards! Why else would they own a funeral home? 🙂 Just don’t die, that’ll show ’em all!

  7. Oh, by the way, I’m not sure about your local laws, but I think putting your mom’s dead body in a trash bag on the curb for weekly pickup would be illegal somehow. It also has a high probability of causing men with CSI written on their uniforms to show up inquiring exactly what your definition of “natural causes” is, but go ahead and try it out, don’t let me stop you.

  8. Who I am to deny my mom’s last wish? Of course, her alternative to the green garbage bag is to bury her in a commemorative tin. She can’t resist buying any item that comes in any sort of commemorative tin.

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