Articles Tagged with Gift Tax Exemptions

At last, the IRS has announced changes to the unified credit and annual gift tax exemption for 2022.

To understand what these changes mean for Houston residents, it is important to first understand how these tax exclusions operate. The lifetime estate and gift tax exemption—also known as the unified tax credit—allows people to make tax-free transfers up to a certain amount during their life and upon their death. The exclusion is said to be “unified” because certain gifts transferred during a person’s life will count against the total amount of transfers that can be made tax-free upon their death.

Outside the unified credit, however, is the annual gift tax exemption. This exemption gives people a free pass to make untaxed gifts up to a certain amount each year without counting it toward the unified credit limit.

Money bagBy law, every year the IRS must determine exemption limits for federal estate tax and the lifetime gift tax based on inflation. And every year, estate planning attorneys wait to hear the IRS' announcement of what the exemptions will be for the coming year.

For 2015, the exemptions were set at $5.43 million for a single person and $10.86 million for a married couple. The exemptions for 2016 have been raised to $5.45 million for a single person and $10.9 million for a married couple.

It is important to note that the gift tax exemption is the total amount of gifts that may be made during a person's lifetime. The amount that may be given to any individual in a single year in 2016 will remain the same as it is in 2015 at $14,000.

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