Do Gifts Work Like IRAs

Today TaxMama hears from Steve in Indiana with this question. “Does the gift tax exclusion work like an IRA?

In other words, can a gift for 2008 be made in 2009 as long as it’s made before the filing of 2008 tax returns, or some other marker of time?”

Dear Steve,

Actually, when I saw the first sentence in your question – Does the gift tax exclusion work like an IRA? – I thought your question was going to end up being something like – if I make a gift to my children now, can they give it back to support me when I retire? Now that would be a really great idea!

Regardless, you have a very interesting perspective. But, no.

The gift must be made during the calendar year.

Good try, though.

You can read more about gift tax rules in IRS Publication 950.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about gift taxes and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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