“’Tis the season of giving. But if you’re tired of the offerings at the mall, why not consider giving your children something grander, like the gift of a down payment to buy a home—or even a home itself?
Uncle Sam encourages such generosity, at least within limits (the IRS site has details). You and your spouse are each allowed to give gifts of $13,000 of money or property to as many people as you want, without triggering taxes for you or the recipients. If you give more than this amount to any one person, the excess counts, dollar for dollar, against your $1 million lifetime gift-tax exclusion ($2 million for married couples).
So if you and your spouse wanted to give $50,000 to your son for a down payment on a house, together you could gift him $26,000 this year, and $24,000 next year, tax-free.”
This gift could help him qualify to buy a home before the federal government’s tax credit stimulus expires early next summer. If the gift allows him to make a down payment of 20% or more of the sales price, he’d also avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance.
Or, if you are interested in selling your home to your child, you could gift some of the equity in the home rather than cash. Lenders usually will accept such a gift, but may require two appraisals to make sure that the home is really worth the sales price, and will ask you to sign an affidavit affirming that you are giving a gift and don’t expect repayment.”
To read more, go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125918780423364703.html