Holiday Gifts And Their Tax Implications


If I want to give my daughter a car for Christmas would I have to pay any gift taxes?

The Federal Gift Tax  implications of making a gift are confusing, because Federal Estate Tax and Gift Tax are intertwined.  The theory is that if you give something away before you die you will not have to pay federal estate tax on it at the time of your death, so the law says you should pay gift tax on the transfer at the same rates as you would pay federal estate tax at your death.

There is one important exception to this rule, the law allows anyone to give a gift of $15,000.00 each year to anyone else gift tax free.  Any gifts over $15,000 have to be reported on a gift tax return, this will apply against the Federal Estate Tax exemption of $11.7 million. Therefore unless your total gifts exceed $11.7 million this gift tax return is for information only.

So in most cases the answer is no.  If you give your daughter the car and it was   worth $50,000.00, as a Christmas Present the extra $35,000,00 should be reported on a gift tax return.  You would not pay any tax but it  would be taken away from your federal estate tax lifetime death exemption.

Of course, depending on the property there can be other tax implications as well on the transfers of property.

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