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Services supplied in connection with the repatriation of human remains (such as cremation and embalming services) will be zero-rated where:

• The services are supplied to a non-resident who is outside New Zealand when the services are performed; and

• The remains will not be received by a third party in New Zealand (and it was not reasonably foreseeable when the contract was entered that a third party would receive the remains in New Zealand).

Goods (such as caskets and urns) exported by the supplier are zero-rated.

Note: This is the review of Public Information Bulletins and has replaced PIB 168 “GST on Human Remains for Repatriation. According to PIB 168 human remains to be repatriated overseas could not be zero-rated as it was considered as “moveable personal property” situated in New Zealand when services are performed.


For Example

Jess and Michael are travelling in New Zealand and Michael dies in New Zealand in a car crash.

Michael’s travel insurance provider (a Germany resident) contracts with XYZ to have Michael embalmed and his remains repatriated to USA, where his parents live.

XYZ performs the embalming, obtains the necessary permits and documentation, and repatriates Michael’s remains to USA. Jess remains in New Zealand throughout the process and arranges to fly home on the same flight as Michael’s body.

The services provided by XYZ are zero-rated as the contract is entered with a non-resident (the insurance company) who has no presence in New Zealand. Also, although Jess is in New Zealand while the services are being performed and accompanies Michael’s body on the flight home, she does not receive the performance of the services in New Zealand. The sale of the casket to transport Michael’s body will also be zero-rated as it is exported by XYZ.


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