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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Funeral expenses (box 81): mourning expenses

You may allow a deduction as a funeral expense for reasonable costs incurred for mourning for the family. You will need to consider what is reasonable on a case by case basis.

Although in law mourning expenses are not strictly funeral expenses, where appropriate, the deduction of reasonable mourning costs incurred, will be allowed under IHTA84/s172.

The term ‘mourning’ should be understood as traditional mourning clothes. Deductions for the cost of putting the deceased’s house into mourning (with draperies) should now be rare.

The need to buy traditional mourning clothes which have limited functional use will also be rare now. But, if custom means that the formal mourning should be worn the reasonable costs of traditional mourning clothes should be allowed as a deduction from the estate.

In Scotland, mournings for the widow or civil partner (IHTM11032) and children living in family are recognised as a funeral expense.

The travelling and accommodation costs (IHTM10379) of mourners are not generally allowable.

ESC F1 which originally allowed the deduction of reasonable mourning expenses was withdrawn on 9 December 2010. This does not alter our practice and any reasonable mourning expense which was previously allowed under ESC F1 should be allowed under IHTA84/S172.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)