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HMRC internal manual

VAT Burial and Cremation

Background and law: Background

When the coverage of VAT was first determined in 1973, it was decided that burials and cremations should be exempt, but that the exemption should be limited to those services normally provided by an undertaker or crematorium in connection with a burial or cremation. The services of, for example, florists or monumental masons, were not covered by the relief. The scope of the burials and cremations exemption has not changed since VAT was first introduced in 1973. Under longstanding agreements with its European partners, the UK is entitled to retain the exemption, but is not permitted to extend its scope. Further information is below.