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Form 709 - Federal Gift Tax Return

Individuals must use Form 709 to report the following:

  • Transfers subject to the federal gift and certain generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes and to figure the tax, if any, due on those transfers, and
  • Allocation of the lifetime GST exemption to property transferred during the transferor's lifetime. (For more details, see the instructions for Form 709 and Treas. Reg. §26.2632-1.)

Who Must File

In general, if you are a citizen or resident of the United States, you must file a gift tax return (whether or not any tax is ultimately due) in the following situations:
  • If you gave gifts to someone (other than your spouse) during the year totaling more than the annual exclusion, you must file Form 709.
  • Certain gifts, called future interests, are not subject to the annual exclusion, and you must file Form 709 even if the gift was under the annual exclusion amount.
  • A husband and wife may not file a joint gift tax return. Each individual is responsible for his or her own Form 709.
  • You must file a gift tax return to split gifts with your spouse (regardless of their amount).
  • If a gift is of community property, it is considered made one-half by each spouse. For example, a gift of $100,000 of community property is considered a gift of $50,000 made by each spouse, and each spouse must file a gift tax return.
  • Likewise, each spouse must file a gift tax return if they have made a gift of property held by them as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety.
  • Only individuals are required to file gift tax returns. If a trust, estate, partnership, or corporation makes a gift, the individual beneficiaries, partners, or stockholders are considered donors and may be liable for the gift and GST taxes.
  • The donor is responsible for paying the gift tax. However, if the donor does not pay the tax, the person receiving the gift may have to pay the tax.
  • If a donor dies before filing a return, the donor's executor must file the return.

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