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Feature Articles: Taxes


Gift taxes

Reviewed and adapted with special permission from the IRS by: Suzi McGarvey, former Extension Associate, University of Missouri Extension

If you gave any one person gifts in 2011 that valued at more than $13,000, you must report the total gifts to the Internal Revenue Service and may have to pay tax on the gifts.

The person who receives your gift does not have to report the gift to the IRS or pay gift or income tax on its value.

Gifts include money and property, including the use of property without expecting to receive something of equal value in return. If you sell something at less than its value or make an interest-free or reduced-interest loan, you may be making a gift.

There are some exceptions to the tax rules on gifts. The following gifts do not count against the annual limit:

  • Tuition or medical expenses that you pay directly to an educational or medical institution for someone's benefit
  • Gifts to your spouse
  • Gifts to a political organization for its use
  • Gifts to charities

If you are married, both you and your spouse can give separate gifts of up to the annual limit to the same person without making a taxable gift.

For more information, get the IRS Publication 950, Introduction to Estate and Gift Taxes, IRS Form 709 or 709-A, United States Gift Tax Return, and Instructions for Form 709. These forms are available on the IRS website in the Forms and Publications section or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

Source: IRS. (2011). Frequently asked questions on gift taxes. Retrieved from,,id=108139,00.html


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Last update: Wednesday, February 29, 2012