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2015 Gift Tax Limit Remains Steady


May 14, 2015
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The federal gift tax limit will remain the same this year as it was last year, according to the IRS.

As a result, a taxpayer (donor) may gift as much as $14,000 to each recipient (donee) without being required to file a gift tax return or paying gift taxes on these amounts. In addition, married couples can provide as much as $28,000 to a donee in gifts each year without generating gift tax liability on such transactions.

The federal estate tax, which is tied to the federal gift tax limit, also saw its exemption move higher in 2015 – rising to $5.43 million compared to $5.34 million in 2014.

For married couples, the amount is $10.86 million. If a taxpayer makes gifts, he or she will need to keep records of these donations because the total amount given is counted toward the federal estate tax amount.

Exemption from the generation-skipping transfer tax also increased this year, rising to $5.43 million from $5.34 million in 2014.

This particular levy involves transfers of wealth to grandchildren or other distant relatives made during their lifetime or death. Taxpayers should bear in mind that if they trigger the estate tax, gift tax or the generation-skipping transfer tax at the federal level, their tax rate could reach as much as 40 percent.

These higher exclusions of the federal estate and gift tax limit became locked in when Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

This made certain tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 permanent. Pursuant to legislation approved earlier in the previous decade, the federal gift tax exclusion was $11,000 in 2004 and 2005, $12,000 between 2006 and 2008, $13,000 for the years 2009-2012 and $14,000 from 2013 on. Going forward, the gift tax limit exemption will track higher. Due to inflation, it will rise in increments of $1,000, according to The National Law Review.