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Savings-Bonds-Alert: Savings Bonds and gift tax

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Savings Bonds and gift tax

My wife's father wants to place $60,000 in H bonds in his and her name, ie "Father or Daughter" and send them to her. If she simply places them in a saftey deposit box will she be liable for gift tax? If not can she just cash the gift tax exemption amout of $11,000 without paying taxes? Tom's response Gift tax is charged to the giver of a gift, not the receiver, so your wife isn't going to owe any gift tax in any case. Click here for a link to the IRS publication on gift tax. Note that there is a specific exception for gifts that "he or she cannot actually possess, enjoy, or earn income from". If your father-in-law makes your wife a co-owner, he will continue to be the owner and the interest will be paid to him. That could be interpreted to mean there's no gift unless she cashes them. You should also be concerned about income tax. H and HH bonds carry an amount of deferred interest that is printed on the front of the bond. When you redeem them, you owe income tax on the deferred interest. Generally the best strategy is to have the person with the lower tax rate - your father-in-law or your wife, cash the bonds. For additional information, see the page on our web site about Series HH Savings Bonds.


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