Prepaid funeral annual returns, record keeping and audits

Annual returns

As a funeral business you must lodge an annual return form before 31 December each year (for the financial year ending on the 30th of June earlier in that year). The annual return form must include:

  • the total number of prepaid funeral agreements not used and
  • the name and location of any funeral trusts which were used and
  • the total amount of all contributions by the funeral business to the funeral trust.

As the person in charge of the funeral trust (the custodian) you must lodge an annual return before 31 December each year (for the previous financial year).  The annual return must include:

  • a statement showing the value of the funeral trust and an estimate of the trust's liabilities
  • a report by an auditor stating the financial position of the custodian as well as the financial position of the funeral trust.

Record keeping

As a funeral business you must keep copies of all prepaid funeral agreements and all records relating to payment by contributors.  This is for a minimum of 5 years after the agreement is performed or cancelled.

Auditing a funeral trust

As a funeral business or custodian you may be given written notice, requiring you to conduct an audit of a funeral trust.  This must be done within 28 days after the notice is given and at the expense of the funeral trust.  The Director will determine what information is appropriate to meet the purposes of the Act.

There are penalties for failing to comply with this.