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    Gift Tax and Splitting with Spouse

    A client has inherited some money. She wants to give $100K to her brother this year. She plans on having his name put on her savings account and just have him take out the $100K out of her account. I mentioned the gift tax return to her along with the max of $15K/yr. I would like to ask if I am missing something after reading the gift tax pub. She is married and so is her brother. Even if she splits the gift giving with her husband for 2019 it will exceed the $15K max. and the gift tax return is required. But if she wanted to..... could she and her spouse gift $15K each to her brother and the same amount to his spouse in 2019 (total $60K). Then gift $10K each in January 2020 to her brother and his spouse ($40K). She would then not have to file any gift return. I am not sure if she and spouse still would be required to do a gift return because she is splitting the gift giving with her spouse. Thanks in advance.........

    #2
    In order to split, you have to file a gift tax return for each spouse to report that they are splitting.

    Also, the $15,000 exclusion is for everything to one person in that calendar year: this cash gift, birthday gifts, holiday gifts, help with rent, whatever you client gave her son during the year.

    I don't know how adding son to savings account would be treated. Probably, a gift of half the account, maybe all the account since he would have access to it all. Someone else will jump in and explain why that's a bad idea.

    Comment


      #3
      [QUOTE=Lion;n298781]In order to split, you have to file a gift tax return for each spouse to report that they are splitting......


      Do you mean if gifts are more than the annual gift tax exclusion?
      Always cite your source for support to defend your opinion

      Comment


        #4
        If they are more than the exclusion for ONE spouse. If the two spouses choose to split, then they report by filing gift tax returns. (If the gift is less than the exclusion, then no return required and splitting is unneccesary.)

        If gifts are more than the exclusion for one spouse, your client must file a gift tax return or client and spouse file to split gifts.

        And, remember that it is ALL types of gifts to one person during one tax year.

        Comment


          #5
          For “Gift Splitting” see The Tax Book 21-3; 21-28
          Last edited by TAXNJ; 07-06-2019, 06:55 AM.
          Always cite your source for support to defend your opinion

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by TAXNJ View Post
            For “Gift Splitting” see The Tax Book 21-3; 21-28
            Unfortunately, I don't have that section in my TaxBook. I have the 1040 Edition Plus. I did read the section on splitting in the IRS Pub for gifts.

            Lion, she is not adding her son to the savings account. It is her brother.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Lion View Post

              I don't know how adding son[brother as amended by RuthC] to savings account would be treated. Probably, a gift of half the account, maybe all the account since he would have access to it all. Someone else will jump in and explain why that's a bad idea.
              Lion - to answer your question - the addition of the name does not create a gift - the gift is determined when the brother would access the money for his benefit.

              Here is a snip from Reg. §25.2511-1


              (4) If A creates a joint bank account for himself and B (or a similar type of ownership by which A can regain the entire fund without B's consent), there is a gift to B when B draws upon the account for his own benefit, to the extent of the amount drawn without any obligation to account for a part of the proceeds to A. Similarly, if A purchases a United States savings bond registered as payable to "A or B," there is a gift to B when B surrenders the bond for cash without any obligation to account for a part of the proceeds to A.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanx NYEA. And, Ruth, I don't think there's any difference in any of our answers if you're asking about a brother or a grown son. I got lazy and didn't scroll up to remind me of the relationship. It could be an unrelated party, for that matter. NYEA filled us in on what tax consequences happen, or not, with a joint account.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by New York Enrolled Agent View Post

                  Lion - to answer your question - the addition of the name does not create a gift - the gift is determined when the brother would access the money for his benefit.

                  Here is a snip from Reg. §25.2511-1


                  (4) If A creates a joint bank account for himself and B (or a similar type of ownership by which A can regain the entire fund without B's consent), there is a gift to B when B draws upon the account for his own benefit, to the extent of the amount drawn without any obligation to account for a part of the proceeds to A. Similarly, if A purchases a United States savings bond registered as payable to "A or B," there is a gift to B when B surrenders the bond for cash without any obligation to account for a part of the proceeds to A.
                  Thank you very much NY Enrolled Agent. I did read the reference you supplied. Exactly what I needed to explain to her seeing I think she already added her brother to the account but didn't give him any out of the account yet. Same result no matter how she gives the money to him. She needs a gift return. I am going to suggest just doing a check for the $100,000 without splitting with spouse seeing she will never reach the amount that she will have to pay any tax.

                  Thank you everyone else that took the time to enlighten me on gift giving.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by ruthc View Post

                    Unfortunately, I don't have that section in my TaxBook. I have the 1040 Edition Plus. I did read the section on splitting in the IRS Pub for gifts.

                    Lion, she is not adding her son to the savings account. It is her brother.
                    Do not know of a "1040 Edition Plus" rather a "1040 Edition" and a "Deluxe Edition PLUS" !!!!

                    see
                    The TaxBook link below for the differences and how it may benefit your future research

                    https://www.thetaxbook.com/book_1040.asp
                    Last edited by TAXNJ; 07-06-2019, 02:42 PM.
                    Always cite your source for support to defend your opinion

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by TAXNJ View Post

                      Do not know of a "1040 Edition Plus" rather a "1040 Edition" and a "Deluxe Edition PLUS" !!!!

                      see
                      The TaxBook link below for the differences and how it may benefit your future research

                      https://www.thetaxbook.com/book_1040.asp
                      TaxNJ....... I ordered and received the "1040 Plus Edition" along with the "What's New in-Depth" for 2018. I have not looked at the 2019 editions yet. If the titles changed for 2019 I will be ordering what is available for my needs. Thanks for the info.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ruthc View Post
                        Exactly what I needed to explain to her seeing I think she already added her brother to the account but didn't give him any out of the account yet.
                        .
                        You don't say how much is in the account she is putting his name on. BAD IDEA! It would be subject to any liabilities, lawsuits, claims, etc, etc for him for the entire amount in the account. PS: The scenario you proposed in the OP re: gift-splitting would work just fine. I am assuming the spouse's name is not on the account? So he would have to use funds in his name for gift-splitting......

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Burke View Post

                          You don't say how much is in the account she is putting his name on. BAD IDEA! It would be subject to any liabilities, lawsuits, claims, etc, etc for him for the entire amount in the account. PS: The scenario you proposed in the OP re: gift-splitting would work just fine. I am assuming the spouse's name is not on the account? So he would have to use funds in his name for gift-splitting......
                          Burke, I don't know how much is in the account right now, but I will certainly find that out along with explaining the dangers of doing it. If she didn't use the savings account method, and If she did the gift-splitting with her spouse using 2019 and 2020 (less than the max per year) both spouses would still have to do a return because they are gift-splitting, right?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If all the funds come from your client and are over the gift exclusion amount and she has a spouse willing to gift split, then they both file gift tax returns. If they sort this out before gifting to your client's brother, then client can give some now and spouse can give now and repeat next year. Or whatever amounts and timing can meet their needs. But, it is possible NOT to be required to file gift tax returns.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Lion View Post
                              If all the funds come from your client and are over the gift exclusion amount and she has a spouse willing to gift split, then they both file gift tax returns. If they sort this out before gifting to your client's brother, then client can give some now and spouse can give now and repeat next year. Or whatever amounts and timing can meet their needs. But, it is possible NOT to be required to file gift tax returns.
                              Yes, the money was inherited by the daughter from her father. She wants to give a total of $100K. I thought an option could be: she and her spouse (if he agrees to split) could give $15K each to her brother and his spouse in 2019 (total equals $60K). Then give $10K each in 2020 (total equals $40K). I didn't think she would have to do a return, but I may be wrong because of the splitting.
                              After reading the comments of everyone, I think the best option (which I spoke to her about) would just be to give a check for $100K and do a gift return seeing she will never be at the max to have to pay any gift tax.

                              Comment

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