The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has issued sales tax guidance resulting from 2016 legislation that, effective January 17, 2017, permits funeral homes in New York State to serve food and nonalcoholic beverages at funerals and wakes.
Technical Memorandum, "Tax Department Policy on the Application of Sales Tax to Food and Beverages Served in Funeral Establishments," TSBM16(10)S (N.Y.S. Dep't of Taxation & Fin., Dec. 16, 2016). According to the Technical Memorandum, a funeral home's charges for a funeral service, including any charges for food and drink included in the charge, are not subject to sales tax. However, the funeral home's purchase of taxable food items, such as cold-cut platters, dessert trays and sandwiches, will be subject to sales tax, as will its purchases of cups, plates, and napkins.