You do not have to claim it, but your parents might.
Gifts are not considered taxable income
. A recipient does not need to declare it nor pay any taxes
, if assessed at all are assessed against the giver. Any gift under $12,000 per year need not be reported. So, if your mother gave you $12,000 and your father gave you $12,000 and they each gave your spouse (if there is one) there could be a combined gift of $48,000 all sliding under that $12,000 limit.
If the gift is more than $12,000, your parents would have to report the gift on form
709 on their next year's income taxes
. You can view the form here:http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f709.pdf
However, even if the gift needs to be reported, it would not require that any taxes be paid unless your parents have already reached their $1 million lifetime limit. The first $1 million in reported gifts are tax free. After that, the gift tax kicks in on future gifts.
Reported gifts also reduce the amount of an estate exempt
. For example, say your parents die with an estate worth $1.8 million, but they have already given away $500,000 in reported gifts. Normally the first $2 million in estate value is exempt from taxes. But since they already gave way $500,000, the limit is reduced to $1.5 million, so the $300,000 of the estate above that limit would be subject to federal estate tax
So the bot***** *****ne is that you owe no taxes. Unless your parents are millionaires, they will probably never be affected tax-wise by the gift. But, if reaching that lifetime limit is a concern, it would be better to receive the gifts in chunks of $12,000 over a period of years.
I hope this helps!