Thursday, July 9, 2009
David Shulman (via the Tax Girl) asks Are Michael Jackson's Funeral Costs Deductible for Estate Tax Purposes? His answer:
- Everything involved with the funeral (not the public memorial but the private funeral) itself, no matter how extravagant or expensive will be allowed as a deduction.
- Everything involved with purchasing and maintaining the burial site itself should also be deductible, even if they build a monument to him. ...
- The costs of transporting Michael Jackson’s body from the hospital, to the funeral home, to the memorial, to wherever his final resting place may be will probably also be deductible. ...
- Any other costs paid for by the estate for the public memorial which was not part of the funeral should not be allowed as a deduction. The public memorial, while touching, was not really part of the funeral, and the IRS would have a strong argument if they chose to disallow the deduction. However, that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the estate took the deduction, and the IRS allowed it. The larger estate tax battle is going to be over the valuation of Michael Jackson’s intangible intellectual property and the actual size of his liabilities.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage of estate tax issues to be faced by Michael Jackson's estate: