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Put your gifts out on the table

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in Small Business Tax

Q. In your recent article on filing gift-tax returns, you seem to give conflicting advice. What is the safe thing to do, to file the return or not? V.L., via e-mail

A. The safest approach is to file the gift-tax return even if you’re not required to. This will result in safe-harbor protection from IRS investigations after three years have elapsed. What we meant to indicate in the article is that, if you’re inclined to try to sneak under the IRS radar, don’t do it. It’s best to come clean about your transactions. Tip: You’re required to file a return in certain cases (e.g., joint gifts by a married couple that qualify for the annual gift-tax exclusion).

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