Gift Tax Lawyers

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What Are Gift Taxes?

A gift tax is the Federal tax on gifts paid by the person making the gift. You may give up to $11,000 a year, and married couples can give $22,000 a year, in cash or assets to an unlimited number of people each year without incurring any gift tax liability.

When Does a Gift become Taxable?

Gifts in the amounts of more than $11,000 to one person in one year are considered a taxable gift and can generate a potential gift tax. A gift tax, however, is not due until you have given away over $1.5 million in your lifetime. The $1.5 million exemption means that most people will never have to worry about paying any gift tax, only millionaires.

What Qualifies as a Gift?

Gifts that are eligible for the annual $11,000 exclusion in 2004 apply only to gifts of property and income the receiver can use presently.

How Can I Avoid Paying the Gift Tax?

You can avoid paying the gift tax by:

  1. Donating a gift to a charity
  2. Giving a gift or leaving your money to a spouse
  3. By paying someone's medical and/or school expenses

Charities

Gifts of any amount to a qualified charity are completely tax-free. For example, if you own a boat that you gift outright to a charity, no gift tax is due.

Spousal Deductions

Gifts of any amount between spouses are 100% deductible for gift tax purposes. This is known as the "unlimited gift tax marital deduction." This gift exclusion only applies to spouses who are U.S. citizens.

Medical and School Expenses

Medical bills or tuition expenses are excluded 100% for gift tax purposes. These exclusions are allowed independent of your relationship to the recipient. Payments cannot be made directly to the recipient, but to the medical care facility or the educational institution.

Do I Need a Gift Tax Lawyer?

Tax law by itself can be very complex and frustrating. Gift tax laws can be even more confusing. An estate lawyer can help you understand how gift tax laws affect you. If you ever face an audit because of unpaid taxes, a lawyer can help you get through the process.

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Last Modified: 10-08-2014 12:58 PM PDT

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