The Real Death Tax

September 28, 2005

As U.S. lawmakers work toward a permanent repeal of the federal estate tax—the so-called “death tax”—our friends in Russia are moving in the opposite direction, proposing an actual death tax on funeral services. From today’s Moscow News:

The regional legislature in southern Siberia’s Kurgan has approved amendments to the imputed tax law that will introduce taxation for religious rituals such as funerals and baptisms, the Vedomosti business daily reported on Tuesday. The move has already caused protests from the Orthodox Church and the Finance Ministry. [Full Story]

This bizarre story should remind Americans that our own version of the death tax will return unless action is taken. While the most recent tax cuts eliminated the federal estate tax, thanks to the sunset provision it’s scheduled to return in 2011.

For more on estate and gift taxes, see here.

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