The perfect holiday gift: A downpayment?

More families may be feeling a little extra generous this holiday season and offer loved ones help with a downpayment on a home.
Coming up with the downpayment has become a major obstacle to homeownership, according to a September survey by Trulia. The survey found that 51 percent of 758 renters surveyed said coming up with the money for a downpayment was preventing them from buying, and 36 percent said qualifying for a mortgage was holding them back.
But with the holiday season approaching, some lucky family members may find a downpayment gift under the Christmas tree.
However, if giving a downpayment gift, givers must remember that “under federal tax law, each individual is permitted to give away money or valuables worth up to $13,000 to a single recipient in a calendar year,” according to an article in The New York Times. “A married couple could jointly bestow up to $26,000 a year per recipient.”
Anything above the maximum annual exemption could be considered a taxable gift and must be reported to the IRS.

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