Trump Utilizes NJ Cemetery Laws

Over this past weekend, you may have seen the hoopla surrounding former President Trump turning a small portion of his Bedminster Golf Course into a cemetery to bury his ex-wife, Ivana.

While some in the press are in an uproar and yelling about tax evasion, the New Jersey Cemetery Act, 2003 ­­(N.J.S.A. 45:27-1 et seq.) accords a broad range of tax exemptions in recognition of the vital public health and welfare benefits those cemeteries provide.

The ACT relieves cemetery companies from the payment of

  • Real Property Taxes on lands dedicated to cemetery purposes
  • Income Taxes;
  • Sales and Use Taxes;
  • Business Taxes; and
  • Inheritance Taxes.

Additionally, cemetery property is exempt from sale for collection of judgments.  Cemetery trust funds and trust income are exempt from tax and exempt from­­ sale or seizure for collection of judgments against the cemetery company.

This does not mean that Trump’s entire Bedminster golf course will be exempt from taxes, but the 1.5-acre portion dedicated to the cemetery should be.

Tax planning is a huge slice of the pie that we call wealth management, and it is pivotal to your financial plan.  If your current adviser does not understand the implications that your business or personal income has over your investment income, then you may miss out on taking advantage of the tax exemptions that certain tax codes allow.

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