Funeral directors will be amongst a number of industry representatives meeting with the P.E.I. government over the next few weeks as it prepares for the introduction of the harmonized sales tax.
'There's no way that people can say, I guess I will not die.'— Don Matheson, P.E.I. Co-operative Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association
There is a possibility those meetings could lead to more exemptions for the tax.
"You know there are two certainties in life, death and taxes," said Don Matheson, president of the P.E.I. Co-operative Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association, which represents a number of funeral homes in the province.
"I guess they meet here."
Currently a number of consumer goods and services, such as electricity, books clothing and funerals, are exempt from provincial sales tax. Early indications are the list of exempt items will shrink dramatically when HST is introduced next April.
Matheson is hoping to convince the province to continue the exemption for funerals. Otherwise he'll be adding nine per cent to his bills.
"Dying is a very expensive thing, and it's for sure," he said.
"There's no way that people can say, I guess I will not die."
P.E.I. tax commissioner Beth Gaudet is in charge of the new HST transition team, and reconsidering the list of PST-exempt items will be a big part of the team's work.
"If there's some question whether or not they'll continue, or whether or not they'll be in a different form, we would definitely be able to discuss with them what the impacts are," said Gaudet.
No final decisions have been made yet on exemptions, she said, and her team will come up with recommendations for government in the next couple of months.
This story previously incorrectly identified Don Matheson as president of the P.E.I. Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association.May 09, 2012 3:57 AM AT