Is nothing sacred?

An interesting case of tax law stemming from Japan.

Saying a final goodbye to pets at a funeral is a special moment for owners, but the monks involved must still cough up money in taxes, Japan’s top court has ruled.

The Supreme Court ruled against Buddhist monks who argued that Japan’s growing trend of pet funerals was a religious activity that should be exempt from taxes, like funerals for humans.

The Jimyoin temple in central Aichi prefecture offers last rites for animals that resemble traditional Buddhist funerals, with bereaved pet owners paying pre-set fees.

“The list of charges spells out prices. By no means does it show the characteristics of religious donations,” presiding judge Osamu Tsuno said in his ruling.

“This is a profit making operation that should be regarded as taxable income under the corporate tax law,” he said.

Japan’s corporate tax law applies to individuals or are monks incorporated in that country? Maybe the court and judges in question have lost their minds. There is certainly enough crazy members of the bench around. Take for instance Broward County where I’ve given 10-12 judges my Knucklehead award. Remind me never to break the law down there or become a monk in Japan and accept payment in return for praying for deceased pets.

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