Structuring a $60k gift from couple to couple?

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    Assuming the $60k is community property, can one married couple write one $60k check to another couple without exceeding the $15k person to person annual exclusion? Or should this gift be split into four $15k checks or two $30k checks?


    I don’t know the real answer but I am relying on the following from instructions from form 709 when gifting to 529 plan for grandchild.
    Instructions say you need to file if you give >15K to someone. It also says that if gift is from community property, that it is considered made 50-50 by each spouse. I interpret that to mean I can give up to 30K each
    yr from community property to grandchild and not file the 709.

    In your case, I’m guessing one check signed by both of you to both of them
    should be ok (maybe even signed by only one of you based on the community
    property splitting). Of course, it’s not really that much more work to
    write 4 checks and then there should be no doubts.

    Who Must File–dft.pdf
    In general. If you are a citizen or resident
    of the United States, you must file a gift tax
    (whether or not any tax is ultimately
    due) in the following situations.
    If you gave gifts to someone in 2019
    totaling more than $15,000
    (other than to
    your spouse), you probably must file Form
    709. ………………………

    • You must file a gift tax return to split
    gifts with your spouse (regardless of their
    amount) as described in Part 1—General
    Information, later.
    If a gift is of community property, it is
    considered made one-half by each
    . 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.


    For these kind of questions you will always get slightly different answers from different people.

    If I were you, and if this is not a hypothetical question and I was actually planning to give/receive the gift this is what I would do.

    1) Make it four checks for $15k each.
    2) Have the persons writing the checks write the check from an individual account, if available, in any case only the deemed donor should sign the check
    3) write the donee’s name individually in the checks. The donee (recipient) should personally deposit by signing on the back of the check.. even if it is into a joint account.

    If for some reason the above logistics is not at all possible, then it may be worth looking into and taking shortcuts. Otherwise, why even bother?

    The reason being, you don’t have to guess what the right answer is for questions such as “have you given more than $15k” etc. All it takes is 3 extra check leaves and a couple more minutes.


    This is a pretty big amount for a gift, I haven’t tried gifting this much to anyone but yeah I guess if you use the Gifts For You Now Coupons and ask them to make personalized $60K gift then I guess you will be able to do it without exceeding limit.

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