Report Gifts of Real Estate or Face the IRS

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties

Real Estate Gift TaxIf you live in Silver Spring, Rosemary Hills, DC Metro or Virginia and you've recently gifted a relative with real estate, the IRS may have its eyes on you. The Wall Street Journal reports that the government agency is fighting to use land-transfer records to discover un-reported gifts of real estate between family members.

Recent legislation has raised to $5 million the limit on how much a person can gift in a lifetime without paying a gift tax. However, a gift to one person of more than $13,000 is supposed to be reported to the IRS so that appropriate transfer taxes are paid. Apparently, many people are "neglecting" this, so the IRS is seeking them out by examining state land-transfer filings.

An IRS document from December 2010 showed the agency had examined 323 taxpayers in the previous two years for not reporting possible gifts. Currently, 217 are being looked at and 250 more are up for possible review. So far, 97 cases have failed to report gifts and 12 have paid taxes or penalties because the gift put the donor over the lifetime gift credit maximum.

Maryland and Washington, DC have not yet provided their records for review. Virginia, however, has turned over its land-transfer information, and IRS documents show a noncompliance-in-reporting rate of 90 percent for the state. Other states providing records include Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Everyone needs to be aware that real estate gifts/transfers to family members are not exempt from the tax reporting rules. If the property is valued at over $13,000, you must file a gift-tax return, even if you're still under the $5 million lifetime exemption. And it seems that the IRS is taking steps to make sure you don't forget.

Contact me, Mynor Herrera, today for expert help buying or selling in the DC, MD, & VA areas! I also specialize in Bethesda and Chevy Chase, as well as the sub-divisions of Rosemary Hills, Rock Creek Forest, East Bethesda & Whitehall Condominium.

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Comments (2)

Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Dear Mynor,
It is interesting that the lack of compliance was so dominant in the very heart of the Federal Government!
The WSJ gave a very thorough report and you shared it with AR members. I am just waiting to see if any real estate agents get swept up in the errors.
Have a happy day -

Jun 02, 2011 04:19 PM
Mynor Herrera
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD
Mynor Herrera, GRI

We'll hope for the best. Thanks for your thoughts.

Jun 05, 2011 10:32 AM