26 CFR § 1.501(c)(13)-1 - Cemetery companies and crematoria.
(a) Nonprofit mutual cemetery companies. A nonprofit cemetery company may be entitled to exemption if it is owned by and operated exclusively for the benefit of its lot owners who hold such lots for bona fide burial purposes and not for the purpose of fesale. A mutual cemetery company which also engages in charitable activities, such as burial of paupers, will be regarded as operating in conformity with this standard. Further, the fact that a mutual cemetery company limits its membership to a particular class of individuals, such as members of a family, will not affect its status as mutual so long as all the other requirements of section 501(c)(13) are met.
(b) Nonprofit cemetery companies and crematoria. Any nonprofit corporation, chartered solely for the purpose of the burial, or (for taxable years beginning after December 31, 1970) the cremation of bodies, and not permitted by its charter to engage in any business not necessarily incident to that purpose, is exempt from income tax, provided that no part of its net earnings inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.
(c) Preferred stock -
(1) In general. Except as provided in subparagraph (3) of this paragraph, a cemetery company or crematorium is not described in section 501(c)(13) if it issues preferred stock on or after November 28, 1978.
(2) Transitional rule for preferred stock issued prior to November 28, 1978. In the case of preferred stock issued prior to November 28, 1978, a cemetery company or crematorium which issued such stock shall not fail to be exempt from income tax solely because it issued preferred stock which entitled the holders to dividends at a fixed rate, not exceeding the legal rage of interest in the State of incorporation or 8 percent per annum, whichever is greater, on the value of the consideration for which the stock was issued, if its articles of incorporation require:
(i) That the preferred stock be retired at par as rapidly as funds therefor become available from operations, and
(ii) That all funds not required for the payment of dividends upon or for the retirement of preferred stock be used by the company for the care and inprovement of the cemetery property. The term legal rate of interest shall mean the rate of interest prescribed by law in the State of incorporation which prevails in the absence of an agreement between contracting parties fixing a rate.
(3) Transitional rule for preferred stock issued on or after November 28, 1978. In the case of preferred stok issued on or after November 28, 1978, a cemetery company or crematorium shall not fail to be exempt from income tax if its articles of incorporation and the preferred stock meet the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) and if such stock is issued pursuant to a plan which has been reduced to writing and adopted prior to November 28, 1978. The adoption of the plan must be shown by the acts of the duly constituted responsible officers and appear upon the official records of the cemetery company or crematorium.
(d) Sales to exempt cemetery companies and crematoria. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) or (c)(3) of this section (relating to transitional rules for preferred stock), no person may have any interest in the net earnings of a tax-exempt cemetery company or crematorium. Thus, a cemetery company or crematorium is not exempt from tax if property is transferred to such organization in exchange for an interest in the net earnings of the organization so long as such interest remains outstanding. An interest in a cemetery company or crematorium that constitutes an equity interest within the meaning of section 385 will be considered an interest in the net earnings of the cemetery. However, an interest in a cemetery company or crematorium that does not constitute an equity interest within the meaning of section 385 may nevertheless constitute an interest in the net earning of the organization. Thus, for example, a bond or other evidence of indebtedness issued by a cemetery company or crematorium which provides for a fixed rate of interest but which, in addition, provides for additional interest payments contingent upon the revenues or income of the organization is considered an interest in the net earnings of the organization. Similarly, a convertible debt obligation issued by a cemetery company or crematorium after July 7, 1975, is considered an interest in the net earnings of the organization.