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VAT creates a grave situation

Payment of VAT on graves in newly developed graveyards is an unfair imposition on hard pressed communities, Clare Independent TD Dr Michael Harty maintains. The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has told Deputy Harty that while the provision of services by an undertaker is exempt from VAT, the exemption does not extend to the supply of graves. However, the minister, in a written reply to a parliamentary question, said the supply of a grave in a graveyard that is more than five years old is also exempt from VAT but the supply of a grave in a newly developed graveyard is liable to a VAT rate of 13.5%. Minister Noonan added that the operator of a newly developed graveyard is entitled to VAT deductibility on their development costs as well as ongoing maintenance costs during the period where VAT is applied to the supply of graves. “I don’t understand,” said Dr. Harty, “ why graveyards over five years old are …

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bill slattery

Council plumbs depths with grave debate

A Lahinch county councillor has claimed that Clare County Council employees are “roaming” around North Clare, checking if graves are the required depth, which Councillor Bill Slattery has heard should now be eight-foot deep. Councillor Slattery has challenged the local authority to dig 10 eight-foot graves in Lahinch, where he says the rock formation mitigate against deep graves. “In recent times, a person was being buried and somebody came out and told them the coffin wasn’t down far enough,” Councillor Slattery claimed. “Was it someone from the council?” director of services, Ann Haugh asked. “I believe so. They couldn’t go down any further because they had met rock. They were down five-foot-nine and he said ‘ye better go down to eight foot. Those are the new guidelines.’ This was the morning of the funeral. The graveyards around here are all rock. Are there new EU guidelines or guidelines from the Department of Environment, as regards new requirements for burial grounds, …

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