IRS Scrutinizes Gifts of Real Estate

The Internal Revenue Service has a low-profile but sweeping effort under way to use state land-transfer records for evidence of omissions in reporting gifts of real estate to family members.

Beth Shapiro Kaufman, a partner in the private-client group at law firm Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., said many tax advisers may not be aware of the IRS effort. She added that as the agency gets records from more states, “we can expect additional examinations.”

New tax rules have made big gifts to family members popular this year, as Congress raised the limit on how much a person can give in a lifetime to $5 million without having to pay gift tax. Still, any time a gift to one person exceeds $13,000, the giver is supposed to let the agency know in a filing….read more

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