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Federal Gift Tax

By Gray Rollins

Each year millions of Americans give a gift to other individuals that they know. Gifts can be considered anything from a new vehicle, to a trip, to a piece of land. A gift tax is a tax that is imposed when an individual gives away a certain amount of gifts that are considered valuable.

According the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an individual who gives a gift or a combination of gifts to one person that is valued at over eleven thousand dollars must pay a gift tax. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not require that the individual who received the gift pays the gift tax. The only individual who is responsible for reporting and paying the gift tax is the person who gave the gift away. A gift is when something is given away at no cost. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines a gift as something that is given away without receiving anything of similar value in return. Gifts that are recognized by the government include property and money.

There are a number of exceptions to the gift tax imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Gifts that are given to a spouse are not considered taxable. Another gift tax exclusion includes gifts that are used for education or medical expenses. This gift tax is often applied when a close family friend or family relative pays a portion of the college tuition expenses or medical expenses of someone they know. Gifts that are given to a charity are also not considered taxable. Individuals can donate their land, their vehicle, or money to an established charity and it will not be considered taxable.

Individuals who give a taxable gift that exceed eleven thousand dollars are required to file a Form 709: United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return). The Form 709 can be obtained by contacting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or by printing the form off of the Internet. It is also possible to obtain an online form by visiting the website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at This form comes in a PDF format that allows individuals to enter in their information using the computer, and they can print off the completed forms to be mailed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In addition to the eleven thousand dollars a year gift tax restriction, individuals are also subject to a lifetime gift tax limit. That lifetime limit is one million dollars. Individuals who exceed one millions dollars in gifts in any number of years are required to start paying taxes on any more gifts that are given in the future. This means that even if an individual gives a gift that is less than eleven thousand dollars, the next year they are still required to pay a gift tax because they exceeded their lifetime gift tax allowance.

Giving another individual or charity a gift of money or property is a great way to reduce the likelihood of having to pay an estate tax later on in life. In addition to offering a number of tax benefits, a gift also allows individuals to give back to their children, family, friends, or community.

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