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Advice on Gift and Capital Gains Tax

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Mark Cappel
UpdatedFeb 19, 2015

My Dad wants to gift me and my sister about $100K in stocks, how do we do this so that we are taxed the least?

Hello, my dad purchased stock thru his company's stock purchase plan over the past 15-20 years. he just retired from that company and wants to give my sister and i (we are both married) most or all of the stock he owns. It's rough $100k in total. My questions are: 1) can he transfer $48,000 in stock to me and my sister (and our spouses) as gifts and avoid any taxes? 2) If me and my sister is in the federal tax bracket of 15%, does that mean there will be no capital gains tax if we sell all the stock and have gains? 3) are there federal or state transfer taxes to take into account? 4) how would I know how much we made on the sale of the stock?

While there certainly are ways to reduce or prevent tax liability on gifts such as the your father'’s stocks, you will need to speak with a qualified tax attorney, financial planner, or accountant to find out specifically what steps you can take to reduce or eliminate the tax burden that the transfer and sale of these stocks will potentially cause.

If you would like to read some more general information about IRS obligations and options available to individuals struggling with tax debt, I encourage you to visit the IRS Debt Help page.

Inheritance and gift taxes have been progressively whittled down in recent years, so you may find that you will owe only a small amount in taxes for having received this large gift. However, if you sell the stock after having received it as a gift, I would expect that at least some amount of capital gains taxes would be due, though you may be able to structure the transfer to reduce your liability.

I do not have enough information to make any definitive determinations, and encourage you to consult with a tax professional that can take a closer look at your financial situation and determine the best way to structure the transfer and sale of these shares. I hope that you will be able to minimize your liability so that you and your sister can enjoy the full benefit of this substantial gift.

I wish you the best of luck in finding a qualified tax professional to assist you, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.




BBill, Sep, 2009
The exemption amount in 2009 became $13,000. The rule is a little more complicated than your illustration -- and that's a good thing. Your in-laws can split the gifts, even if the source of the funds is one account. In a year, Dad can give Kid1 $13,000 and Kid2 $13,000, and Mom can give Kid1 $13,000 and Kid2 $13,000. ("Kid1" and "Kid2" can be anyone and do not need to be the children of the giver.) That totals $52,000 to you as a married couple in tax-free gifting in one year. Your in-laws can elect to loan you the $28,000 in that same year, and then if they are still feeling charitable, forgive the debt in a following year. The resulting gift would be exempt from taxes. Alternatively, see the Instructions for Form 709: United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.
LLaura, Sep, 2009
My in-laws want to give us $80k to help pay down our debt and refinance our house. In order to not pay taxes on this gift, how much can they give us? Is is $13k per person for each calendar year? If they give my husband $13k and myself $13k, can we still file a 2009 joint return without paying a gift tax? If so, then I'm assuming a good plan would be for them to give each of us $13k in 2009 and $13k in 2010, etc ...