I am a US citizen living abroad. My mother (not US citizen) plans to sell her house and buy another house. She wants half of the new house to be on my name. This means are receive a half house as a gift. =======>If you are a US citizen/a resident or a US resident even for tax purposes, then you do not need to report your ownership to the IRS/your state. The donor is generally responsible for paying the gift tax. Currently, a taxpayer does not pay gift tax until they have given away over $5.49 million in their lifetime (2017).since your other is not a US person she does not need to pay gift tax to US so neither do you
The other option is she buys the house for herself and later on I inherit from her together with my brother and sister.
Which of the two options are better form a tax point of view?=====>Whatever it is you do not need to pay any tax to IRS/your state however, when you sell it and earn income, say, capital gain then unless the house is your first home, you need to pay tax on the gain as a second home; You can usually sell your primary home without worrying about taxes, but different rules apply to vacation homes and rental properties. If you sell your second home, your capital gains is the portion of the proceeds that exceeds what you paid for the property, plus the cost of any improvements you made over the years. You can deduct many of the closing costs associated with the sale from your proceeds, however. As of 2013, the tax rate for long-term capital gains such as those involving real estate is 15% aslongas your tax bracket is higher than 15% and 0% if your taX BRACKET S 15% OR LOWER..