How Much Money Can You Give Tax Free?

The simple answer has 2 parts.

Each individual has an “annual exclusion” that allows them to give $14,000 per year to any number of individuals, without paying any gift tax. That means a wealth grandmother can give her 3 kids $14,000 each and each of her 7 grandchildren $14,000 each. The grandmother could give $140,000 (or more), each year, with no IRS reporting requirements.

Keeping it simple: Annual Exclusion = $14,000 (2016)

The issue becomes for gifts above $14,000. Gifts above $14,000 begin to apply to your “lifetime exclusion”. In 2016 the lifetime exclusion is $5,450,000. That is a large amount of money and does not apply to most people. However, if you make a gift above $14,000, you must report to the IRS using a gift tax return when you made the gift and the amount of the gift so it can be deducted from your lifetime exclusion. I have yet to meet anyone who enjoys reporting additional information to the IRS. By keeping gifts to $14,000 or less and giving to multiple individuals, you avoid those reporting requirements.

Keeping it simple: Lifetime Exclusion = $5,450,000 (2016)

Missouri Is Among the Majority of States With No Estate Tax

A previous posting discussed Estate Tax at the federal level. It is important to know that some states impose an estate tax as well. Thankfully Missouri is not one of them.

The Tax Foundation published this map which shows a 50 state survey of which states have a state estate or inheritance tax.