Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
We all love to get gifts, don’t we? One thing I learned much later than I should have is if someone asks you what you want, tell them. Being too shy to ask for something you dearly want simply sets you up to get disappointing gifts. Not to mention someone close to you has just wasted a bunch of money.
Giving gifts is often more fun than getting them. Sometimes the gift you really want to give is money. Or a car. Or a college education. Or funds for an operation. Beware. Giving gifts can have unintended tax consequences.
Reward Leads to Punishment
Usually the question I get is, when I give someone a gift, do I get a tax deduction for it? Not only do you not get a deduction, but you could also find yourself paying gift taxes if you’re not careful.
The United States has gift tax laws. They were designed to keep rich people from giving away big chunks of their estate without paying estate taxes. This results in an annual dollar limit to the gifts we can give any one person each year without facing gift taxes.
For 2011, you may give someone up to $13,000 worth of gifts during the entire year without paying any gift taxes. That means all presents, including money and presents for birthdays, graduations, and holidays.
Give someone $13,015 in total gifts for the year, and either you will pay gift taxes on that last $15 or you must reduce your lifetime gift-giving allowance. That gift exclusion jumped to $5 million for 2011–12 (from $1 million). Most people will never reach this level, so we don’t have to worry.
Getting around the Limits
Sometimes, you need to give your young married children a lot of money, say for a down payment on a house. When giving gifts to a couple, you may give each person up to $13,000—for a total of $26,000 for the year. A set of parents can give their daughter and her husband up to $52,000. How? Each parent gives the daughter $13,000, for a total of $26,000. Each parent gives the husband $13,000, for a total of $26,000. If the married couple has two children, the parents can give the family another $52,000, by giving $26,000 to each child. Playing with the numbers can be fun, see?
Gifts with No Limits
Certain gifts are not a part of the equation at all. You can give anyone—even if he or she is not related to you—an unlimited amount of money for:
This is an important planning tool for grandparents, or same-sex couples, close friends, family friends, or anyone else who just wants to help out.
Rates and Limits
The federal gift tax rate for 2011–12 is 35 percent of the taxable gift. Your state might also have a gift tax. For these two years, the gift tax limit and rate is linked to the estate tax. Since this is a temporary situation, we’re counting on Congress to get to work developing a permanent, or at least long-term, solution.
Read More about Filing Your 2011 Taxes:
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.