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Even with rising exemptions, 2013 annual exclusion gifts still a good idea

Recently, the IRS released the 2014 annually adjusted amount for the unified gift and estate tax exemption and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption: $5.34 million (up from $5.25 million in 2013). But even with the rising exemptions, making annual exclusion gifts is still a good idea.

The 2013 gift tax annual exclusion allows you to give up to $14,000 per recipient tax-free — without using up any of your gift and estate or GST tax exemption. (The exclusion remains the same for 2014.)

The gifted assets are removed from your taxable estate, which can be especially advantageous if you expect them to appreciate. That’s because the future appreciation can avoid gift and estate taxes.

But you need to use your 2013 exclusion by Dec. 31. The exclusion doesn’t carry over from year to year. For example, if you and your spouse don’t make annual exclusion gifts to your granddaughter this year, you can’t add $28,000 to your 2014 exclusions to make a $56,000 tax-free gift to her next year.

Please contact us for ideas on how to make the most of annual exclusion gifts.

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