Author Topic: Gift taxes on parent funds for downpayment  (Read 721 times)

ebella

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Gift taxes on parent funds for downpayment
« on: June 13, 2018, 12:24:17 PM »
So, my mother has individual stocks (that belonged to my grandfather's estate) that she wants to sell.  She (rightly, I think) doesn't like the idea of individual stocks but U.S. banks have told her she cannot invest in other U.S. securities because she is not a US resident (she's a US citizen but has a foreign permanent residency in another country where she resides).  She feels kinda fucked over by the crash in 2008 (had to work for longer than she anticipated) so she'd just wary of the market generally and would prefer to invest in real estate/my future by selling those stocks and giving me the money for a downpayment.  I'm not going to argue with her on whether she'd be better off investing it or if she is legally allowed to; not having to use my own funds for a downpayment sounds great to me!
This is where it gets tricky.  I've made my offer for a place, qualified for a mortgage and she's in process of selling her stocks so that I can use them for a 20% downpayment of $51,500.  She's concerned about gift tax.  Initially I was too, but then I researched it and this is how I understand it:
If  she gifts me $51,500 total that's $51,500-$15,000(2018 exemption limit)=$36,500.  She will have to file a gift tax return form 709 saying she gifted me this and the taxable amount applied to her $11,180,000 lifetime exclusion is $36,500.  BUT she would only have to pay taxes on that if all the gift tax forms she filed over her entire life exceeded $11 million.  Is that how gift taxes work?  I don't want her to be taxed twice on this.  But I also would rather do the gift in one check to me than checks of $15,000 to myself and my fiancee and wait until next year for the $21,5000 (thereby dipping into my own investment account to makeup for the additional $21,500 and relying on her to bakcfill it by gifting us the maximum next year).
Am I totally wrong here?  Is gift tax actually a thing for her/most people?  Just want to be sure I am not missing some massive tax bomb (other than capital gains which is inevitable since she's hell bent on getting rid of the stock).

GreenEggs

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Re: Gift taxes on parent funds for downpayment
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 05:31:01 AM »
I'm no expert, but it sounds like you understand it correctly to me.

I assume your mother is not married.  If she is she can double the annual gift size through her husband.  And can also gift to your fiancee.  So the $15K could be $60K without filing a gift tax form. 

Also,  the tax laws recently were changed by the current administration.  It would not be surprising to see the next administration reverse it, or worse.  A lot of people that don't have $22 million in the balance would be very happy to "help themselves" to those who do. 

SeattleCPA

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Re: Gift taxes on parent funds for downpayment
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 07:34:00 AM »
The headache factor here is the gift tax return... but the accounting works the way you describe.

ebella

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Re: Gift taxes on parent funds for downpayment
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 12:56:35 PM »
The headache factor here is the gift tax return... but the accounting works the way you describe.

Is it really such a headache if this is her only gift exceeding the exception ever?  I am thinking it might be.

SeattleCPA

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Re: Gift taxes on parent funds for downpayment
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2018, 06:52:04 AM »
The gifter needs to file form 709. Here are the instructions:

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i709.pdf

IRS estimates the work involved (which will be for a nonprofessional) is about six and half hours. That is what seems like a hassle to me...

sokoloff

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Re: Gift taxes on parent funds for downpayment
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2018, 05:36:44 PM »
She could gift you two $30K this year, and lend you two a further $25K.
She could then gift you two $25K next year.

Only wrinkle there is whether that would be a loan that you'd need to disclose on your application and whether that would screw up underwriting of the mortgage.

If you need to get around that, use your own investment account to bridge you (it is, after all, going to be a place you live in...)

Or, she could make further gifts this year to your fiancee's parents or two other mutual family members and just hope that, out of pure coincidence, they feel similarly generously inclined to give similar sized gifts to the two of you.

ebella

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Re: Gift taxes on parent funds for downpayment
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2018, 09:52:42 AM »
She could gift you two $30K this year, and lend you two a further $25K.
She could then gift you two $25K next year.

Only wrinkle there is whether that would be a loan that you'd need to disclose on your application and whether that would screw up underwriting of the mortgage.

If you need to get around that, use your own investment account to bridge you (it is, after all, going to be a place you live in...)

Or, she could make further gifts this year to your fiancee's parents or two other mutual family members and just hope that, out of pure coincidence, they feel similarly generously inclined to give similar sized gifts to the two of you.

I think we're gonna go the first route with my investments bridging it.  That's not technically a loan if she gifts us another $25k next year so it's ok for underwriting (according to my mortgage broker). 
Ugh the financial gymnastics of this make me sick!