Gift Tax Returns – Common Mistakes

By Christine G. Pronek, CPA, MST and Martin M. Shenkman, Esq

Article Excerpt:

Gift tax returns are seductively simple. It’s not a long return, the template that the return requires be filled in does not seem particularly complex, so how hard can it be? Preparing a gift tax return correctly is not an easy task and professionals who don’t prepare them regularly and with care can easily make a myriad of mistakes. There are so many areas of uncertainty, layers, and nuances that it’s virtually impossible for anyone preparing a return to not receive comments from a reviewer. While practitioners have seen a decline in gift tax return filings because of the large current lifetime exemptions, the fact that the current exemption will be cut in half in 2026, and perhaps earlier by a new administration, bolstered by the fact that there will be no claw-back if the high exemption is used, practitioners should expect to see an uptick in gift tax filings before the 2020 election.