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IRS Reports $391 Billion Gifted in 2012

As documented by Bloomberg, the IRS recently released data showing that some $391 billion in tax-free gifts made by individuals were reported in 2012. Prompted by concerns over the “fiscal cliff” and the debate in Washington over the lifetime federal gift tax exemption, the amount gifted in 2012 was more than four times that reported in the previous year. Of the total non-taxable gifts made, 85% were from 110,117 households that each gifted more than $1 million.

At the end of 2012 Congress and the President agreed to set the gift and estate tax exemption at $5 million per person ($10 million for a married couple) indexed for inflation. The exemption in 2014 is $5.34 million ($10.68 million for a married couple) and the exemption for 2015 is $5.43 million ($10.86 million for a married couple).

In another recent post we highlighted the possible benefits of holding certain assets until death to receive a step-up in basis and avoid capital gains taxes. These benefits, among others, should be carefully considered by individuals looking to take advantage of the current high gift and estate tax exemption environment.

Should you have questions regarding lifetime gifts, one of the Members of our Estates & Trusts Practice Group at DeWitt Ross & Stevens (Wisconsin) and DeWitt Mackall Crounse & Moore (Minnesota) are available to advise you about these estate planning issues.

About the Author

Jordan Taylor is an attorney practicing out of our Madison office. He is a member of the Business, Employee Benefits, Real Estate, Land Use & Construction, and Trusts & Estates practice groups. Contact Jordan by email or by phone at 608.252.9369.


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