Mortgages: To Givers of Down Payments

Where do you get the money for real estate? Well, here's one possibility if you have parents or in-laws with extra money and who are willing to make it happen:

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...if two parents want to give money to their newlywed daughter, each may give $13,000 to the daughter, and $13,000 to her partner, for a nontaxable total of $52,000.

Donors can spread more cheer into the next year — and double the amount to the same couple, to $104,000 — by timing the gifts for December and January.

“Write each check separately,” Mr. Mignone said. “Don’t lump them together.”

Gifts that exceed the $13,000 threshold are supposed to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Your lifetime gift total is applied toward any exclusion allowed under the estate tax after your death.

It's too late to do that exact plan for 2012-13, but there's 2013-14.

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