This is a short article on gift taxes and is taken from the IRS website www.irs.gov:
Who pays the gift tax?
The donor is generally responsible for paying the gift tax. Under special arrangements the donee may agree to pay the tax instead. Please visit with your tax professional if you are considering this type of arrangement.
What is considered a gift?
Any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration (measured in money or money's worth) is not received in return.
What can be excluded from gifts?
The general rule is that any gift is a taxable gift. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. Generally, the following gifts are not taxable gifts.
1. Gifts that are not more than the annual exclusion for the calendar year.
2. Tuition or medical expenses you pay for someone (the educational and medical exclusions).
3. Gifts to your spouse.
4. Gifts to a political organization for its use.
In addition to this, gifts to qualifying charities are deductible from the value of the gift(s) made.
May I deduct gifts on my income tax return?
Making a gift or leaving your estate to your heirs does not ordinarily affect your federal income tax. You cannot deduct the value of gifts you make (other than gifts that are deductible charitable contributions). If you are not sure whether the gift tax or the estate tax applies to your situation, refer to Publication 950, Introduction to Estate and Gift Taxes.
How many annual exclusions are available?
The annual exclusion applies to gifts to each donee. In other words, if you give each of your children $11,000 in 2002-2005, $12,000 in 2006-2008, and $13,000 on or after January 1, 2009, the annual exclusion applies to each gift.
What if my spouse and I want to give away property that we own together?
You are each entitled to the annual exclusion amount on the gift. Together, you can give $22,000 to each donee (2002-2005) or $24,000 (2006-2008), $26,000 (effective on or after January 1, 2009).