New Zealand Markets open in 9 hrs 12 mins

Vic coalition blocks 'death tax'

Nothing's certain in life except death and taxes, but a tax on deaths isn't.

Victorians have been spared a death tax after an Australian Tax Office ruling overturned a GST on burials.

Changes to federal tax laws in 2011 prompted the ATO to impose fees on interment, which were poised to take effect on Wednesday.

Victorian Health and Ageing Minister David Davis said the state coalition government had successfully challenged the previous federal Labor government's GST on death.

"A tax on burial was just unacceptable so I ordered the department to object to the ruling," he said.

Mr Davis said, in essence, the coalition was protecting a long-standing principle that burials remain tax-free.

"Victorians, at a time of grief, deserve to be able to arrange a burial at a reasonable cost," he said

"I am pleased that common sense has prevailed and that interment will be tax exempt.

"Nothing is certain but death and taxes, and Julia Gillard's Labor sought to combine the two."