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Gift Tax: Why Giving Away $15,000 Is a Trap For the Unwary

Have you ever heard that you can give away up to $15,000 per person per year to avoid gift tax? 

Spoiler alert: the government gives with one hand and takes away with the other.

Giving away money and things is actually a lot trickier than you may realize. There are so many times when somebody will come into my office, and they'll say something to me like, "Oh, but I know that you can give away 10,000 or 11,000 or 15,000 per person per year, and It'll be okay!". However, that statement is very problematic.

First, I want to explain what gifting is in the eyes of the law. "A gift is property, money, or assets that one person gives to another while receiving nothing or less than fair market value in return." That seems pretty simple, right? Where people get confused is when they give away certain things that may not seem like gifts.

For example, let's say you want to give your car to your grandchild. You sell it to them "for $1", but according to the vehicle's market...

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VA Pension Benefits - The Facts

VA Pension Benefits

The Facts...

VA Pension is a benefit that many veterans just are not aware of, or are often told that they don’t qualify for, even if they can become qualified. If you are a Veteran or a Widow of a Veteran, you may be able to obtain tax free income from the VA to help pay for the cost of home health care, assisted living care, and nursing home care. The benefit is called “Improved Pension.” In addition to the Pension, a person who is housebound or in need of the assistance of another person with activities of daily living may receive additional pay called Housebound Benefits or Aid and Attendance Benefits, which is s supplement to the Pension.

All of the following criteria must be met before a veteran or widow(er) of a veteran can receive Improved Pension benefits:

  • The veteran must have served at least 90 days of active service with at least one day of service during a wartime period.
  • The veteran must have received a discharge that is other...
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