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Ask Merlo Your Own Question
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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My husband and I have a home in NC value 145,000 we owe 48,000

Customer Question

My husband and I have a home in NC value 145,000 we owe 48,000 we like to pay it off and give it to our daughter, were building another home in WA state. Should we gift her the home or sell it to her for what we owe and gift her the money to pay it off. We purchased the home for 125,000 and have in the past 34 years recieved 333,000 in capital gains from the sell of homes.

Patty J [email protected]
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.

Hello Patty,


Regardless of which of those options you choose, no one would owe any taxes on this transaction.


Under current law, each taxpayer may give up to $1 million in gifts during their lifetime before they actually owe any gift tax. There is an additional $13,000 annual exclusion which does not even apply or reduce the $1 million lifetime limit. Gifts which exceed the $13,000 annual exclusion must be reported by the giver of the gift by filing Form 709 with the IRS which is a gift tax return. However, no gift tax is actually due until that taxpayer has used up his allowed $1 million lifetime exemption.


So if you simply paid off this home and then gave it to your daughter, you would be giving her a gift which is worth $145,000. You would report giving that gift by filing Form 709 and you would split the gift between you and your husband, showing that you each gave your daughter $72,500 in gifts. That would then simply reduce the remaining limit on lifetime gifts for each of you down from the $1 million to $927,500 of gifts you could give in your lifetime before any gift tax would be due.


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Thank you Patty