ArticlesFeaturedFinance & EconomicsDo I Owe Taxes If My Grandma Gives Me A Birthday Check?

10 months ago2 min

Quick answer: No!  Monetary gifts are tax-free to the recipient.  It’s possible that the person giving the gift would have a reporting requirement for tax purposes, but when you get that $20 Christmas check from grandma, rest assured that it will have no impact on your annual tax bill.

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In 2018, an individual could gift another individual up to $15,000 without any tax payments or reporting requirements.  If that annual amount was exceeded, a gift tax return would need to be be filed which contributes to the total lifetime amount you are able to give ($5,600,000 in 2018) before any tax consequence would occur.  Those tax consequences would be relevant to the person making the gift and potentially their estate, but not to the person receiving the gift.

So, if grandma wants to give every one of her kids, grand-kids, great grand-kids, friends and neighbors $15,000 every year for Christmas for the rest of her life (assuming the tax law doesn’t change), she can do so tax-free without ever reporting it to the government.  Then, even if she feels super generous and gives everyone $100,000 a year, the only consequence would be that she would need to report it to the IRS each year and once she reached $5,600,000 in total monetary gifts for her lifetime would any actual tax liability exist.  And that tax liability would be for her and not the recipients of the gifts.

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