Gifting Stock

Gifting Stock - Background

The amount of a gift you receive is not considered income. The gift may seem as good as a paycheck (or better!) but you are not required to pay income tax on the gift. You are not required to pay gift tax, either. If there is a gift tax, it must be paid by the donor.

Gifting Stock

Gifting Stock - A way parents can transfer ownership in a family business and reduce the size of their estate and their potential tax liability is by making gifts of stock in the company to their children. This strategy can substantially reduce taxes, particularly for family firms which are not yet highly appreciated in value but which are expected to grow over a period of time.

Gifting Stock - Annual Gifts of Stock

A business owner can make annual gifts of stock worth up to $22,000 yearly to each of their children, without paying gift taxes. In transferring stock to the children, parents may be able to take advantage of special tax rules allowing owners of closely held companies to give away minority interests in the company at a discounted value. The minority discount permits greater savings on transfer taxes. The annual exclusion is adjusted for inflation every year.

Parents often choose to gift stock in the business only to those who will manage the business, and other assets to those who are inactive in the firm. For a family business to survive its leaders should have authority equal to their responsibilities. Suppose you actively manage the company, and your 2 siblings have other careers. If your parents give 33 percent of the voting shares to each of the 3 children, your authority could be undermined since your inactive siblings have the power to out-vote you.


Gifting Stock