Each year, taxpayers have the opportunity to transfer assets free of gift taxes to their family members or other individuals by using their annual exclusions from the federal gift tax. As long as the gifts remain within the annual exclusion amounts, the value of the assets gifted will not reduce any remaining portion of a taxpayer’s exemption from federal gift and estate tax. Thus, making gifts with the proper use of the annual gift tax exclusion decreases one’s taxable estate at death (and the corresponding federal estate tax payable) without using any of the taxpayer’s available credit against potential gift and estate taxes.
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