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Mortuaries & Cemeteries Edition
You Can Escape The Pain and Embarrassment of Not Being Prepared For An IRS Audit.
Take a FREE sneak into just a few of the aspects that the IRS knows about the Mortuary and Cemetery business - you may be surprised -

From Chapter 6 -

Whether a mortuary is owned by an exempt or non-exempt cemetery, it will always be taxable. The operation of a mortuary includes the following:

  • Pickup of the deceased from their home, hospital, convalescent home, etc.
  • Preparing the deceased for viewing and burial and conducting funeral services
  • Delivery of the deceased to the cemetery or other disposal service
  • Merchandising of caskets, vault liners, flowers, burial clothing, memorial books and folders, etc.

Articles read in industry magazines indicate that the mortuary industry is generally thought to be in a period of consolidation. Transition is taking place from individual, independently owned funeral homes to larger, multi-site operations. Some of these operations are multi-state in size.

Most of the funeral homes targeted for audits were either family-owned or closely-held enterprises. With individual proprietorships, the owners are usually the licensed funeral directors. The smaller funeral homes had numerous family members employed in the business.

Here's more research conducted by the Internal Revenue Service -
From Chapter 4 -

During the early 1980's the Federal Trade Commission undertook a study of the funeral industry, which led to trade regulation rules requiring the industry to provide the consumers with detailed information about prices and legal requirements in arranging funerals. The final rules were published in the Federal Register Vol. 47, No 186, September 24, 1982. A review of the information set forth in the Federal Register reveals the following statistical data at that time

  • There are approximately 2.0 million deaths, which occur in the United States annually.
  • The cost of the average funeral (which includes embalming, viewing, a ceremony, and an in-ground burial) appears to cost in upwards of $3,000.00.
  • The funeral industry in the United States is approaching $6 billion annually.
  • While there is one major publicly traded company in the funeral business in this country (Service Corporation International, Inc.), the vast majority of the business is done by privately owned businesses.

As of 1982, there were:

  • Over 22,000 funeral homes
  • 50,000 licensed embalmers and funeral directors; and
  • 400 crematories in the country

While the actual number of deaths handled at a particular funeral home will vary greatly, the average number per funeral home is approximately 94. Various industry studies have indicated that up to 75% of funeral homes handle less than 100 funerals a year. Almost half of all funeral businesses as of 1982 were individual proprietors with the rest being partnerships and corporations.


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