Originally Posted by BFerny
Scenario... I want to help my brother pay his mortgage but I do not want to dip into the lifetime 5.45 million limit or have to fill out any claim at all.
I and my wife both write $14,000 checks each to my brother, his wife and each of their two teenage sons (8 checks totaling $112,000). All four of them put their checks into a joint checking account with all four of their names on the account. My brother then writes a check from the account for $112,000 to their mortgage lender.
Kosher or no?
Corect; your brother may write a check of $112K from his bank account. Most gifts are subject to the gift tax, but a majority of people never pay gift tax, due to the $14K for 2016 annual exclusion and $5.45 M lifetime exemption for 2016 (Only the amount above the $5,340,000 , NET GIFT TAX LIABILITY) requires the payment of a gift tax you can double your annual gift tax exclusion amount by gift-splitting with your spouse. As you said, you may use a technique of gift splitting since you do not want to dip into the lifetime $5.45 M limit for 2016.However, each of you must file a form 709, an info return NOT tax return, as your gift of $14K to each of the donees and from your spouse (another $14K) exceeds $14K; $28K>$14K for each donee. you must file a gift tax return to show that you and your spouse agree to use gift splitting.as said previously You must file a Form 709, even if half of the split gift is less than the annual exclusion Writing separate checks for each donee keeps you much safer. It is still possible to claim gift-splitting on the gift tax return, which treats the gift as if half came from each spouse even though only one wrote the check. So, you should write one check for each donee. Keeping the accounting separate will aid your tax preparer in asserting that each gift was to a separate individual should you be audited.