The Bigger The Funeral, The Bigger The Deduction

Using the Joan Rivers funeral as an example, a story in Forbes pointed out that expenses associated with funerals are tax deductible.

In her book, Rivers said she wanted a huge, ostentatious funeral, with Bobby Vinton singing to her, her being buried in a Valentino gown and her hair blowing in her casket.

Sure, those were jokes, but she did want an over-the-top send off.

An estate is allowed deductions for funeral expenses which are reportable on Schedule J of the federal tax return, the story says.

Deductible expenses include costs of the funeral home, tombstone, plot, payments for church services, flowers and a funeral luncheon.

Expenses may also be deductible on state estate tax returns, according to the story.

Expenses are supposed to be “reasonable,” but the definition of that may be different for a person of River’s stature than someone less wealthy. What is reasonable for a billionaire is different from what is reasonable for most people.

In any case, the Rivers estate will be paying a bundle in taxes. She had a $30 million penthouse and a very valuable Faberge egg collection and had sold more than $1 billion worth of products on QVC, the story says.

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