The donor (person making the gift) is responsible for paying the federal gift tax and must report the gift on IRS Form 709, United States Gift Tax Return. The return and any gift taxes are due on or before April 15th of the year following the year the gift was made.
Gifts to a spouse are exempt under the unlimited marital deduction. A gift to a non U.S. citizen spouse is exempt up to $139,000 during 2012 and increases to $143,000 for 2013. Gift that are given to a friend or other family member are assessed on the value of the property. Gifts can be given to a person directly or transferred to a trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Gifts may include cash, stock, real estate, jewelry and other tangible property. The annual gift tax federal exemption is $13,000 for 2012 and $14,000 as of January 1, 2013. There is a federal lifetime per person gift tax exemption of $5,120,000, which decreases to $1,000,000 as of January 1, 2013. New York does not have a gift tax.
For 2012, you can gift to each of your children $13,000 tax free. A married couple can gift a combined total of $26,000 to each child tax free. If you and your wife give your son $52,000 to buy a house, you would have to pay tax on $26,000, and file a gift tax return on or before April 15, 2013.
If you are thinking of gifting your assets as part of your New York estate plan, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.