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11391: 709 - Gift Tax Return FAQs


709 Gift Tax

709 Gift Tax Return FAQs

Choose from the following Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. When is Form 709 due?
  2. If I gave more than one gift, do I file multiple 709 returns?
  3. If my spouse and I both have reportable gifts, can we file a joint 709?
  4. How do I create a 709 return?
  5. How do I create a second 709 return?
  6. How do I know if I have to file Form 709?
  7. Is there an exclusion for gifts to spouses who are not U.S. citizens?
  8. What is the top rate for Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) tax returns?
  9. What is the basic credit amount for 2018
  10. What is the basic exclusion if the estate decedent passed in 2018?
  11. Do I need to file Form 709 if I made gifts to charities?
  12. Do all gifts qualify for the annual exclusion?
  13. How do I add an attachment to my 709 return?
  14. Where do I enter optional elections for my 709 return?
  15. How do I request an extension of time to file Form 709?
  16. What is new for 709 returns in Drake18?


  1. When is Form 709 due?
    • All gift and GST taxes must be computed and filed on a calendar year basis. Generally, you must file the Form 709 no earlier than January 1, but not later than April 15, of the year after the gift was made. However, in instances when April 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, Form 709 will be due on the next business day. For Tax Year 2019, the filing deadline is April 15, 2020.

  2. If I gave more than one gift, do I file multiple 709 returns?
    • List all reportable gifts made during the calendar year on one Form 709.

  3. If my spouse and I both have reportable gifts, can we file a joint 709?
    • Each spouse must file an individual 709 - there is no Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) 709. If you and your spouse agree to split your gifts, you should file both of your individual gift tax returns together (that is, in the same envelope) to help the IRS process the returns and to avoid correspondence from the IRS.

  4. How do I create a 709 return?
    • To open a 709 return, first create a 1040 return for the client, and enter demographic information on screen 1. Select the Taxes tab and choose 709 Gift Tax Return.

  5. How do I create a second 709 return?
    • If you need to create two separate 709 returns, complete the first 709 for the taxpayer. Then, press the PgDn "Page Down" key on your keyboard to create a second 709 for the spouse.
      Note: Some keyboard layouts and laptops may require FN+PgDn (Function + Page Down)

  6. How do I know if I have to file Form 709?
    • If you gave gifts to someone in 2019 totaling more than $15,000 (other than to your spouse) you probably must file Form 709. For 2019, the first $15,000 of gifts of present interest to each donee during the calendar year is subtracted from total gifts in figuring the amount of taxable gifts. The donor is responsible for paying the gift tax. If the donor does not pay the tax, the person receiving the gift may have to pay the tax.

  7. Is there an exclusion for gifts to spouses who are not U.S. citizens?
    • For gifts made to spouses who are not U.S. citizens, the annual exclusion for 2019 is $155,000.

  8. What is the highest tax rate for gifts and GSTs?
    • The 2019 top rate for gifts and generation-skipping transfers is 40%.

  9. What is the basic credit amount for 2018
    • The 2019 basic credit amount is $4,505,800.

  10. What is the basic exclusion if the estate decedent passed in 2019?
    • For estates of any decedent passing away in calendar year 2019, the basic exclusion amount is $11,400,000.

  11. Do I need to file Form 709 if I made gifts to charities?
    • If the only gifts you made during the year are deductible as gifts to charities, you do not need to file a return as long as you transferred your entire interest in the property to qualifying charities. If you transferred only a partial interest, or transferred part of your interest to someone other than a charity, you must still file a return and report all of your gifts to charities.

  12. Do all gifts qualify for the annual exclusion?
    • Certain gifts, called future interests, do not qualify for the $15,000 annual exclusion and require you to file Form 709 even if the gift was under $15,000.

  13. How do I add an attachment to my 709 return?
    • If Form 709 requires an attachment (for example, if an election option requires the amounts in question to be identified), use the ATT screen on the 709 menu.

  14. Where do I enter optional elections for my 709 return?
    • Screen A (the Gifts screen) provides check boxes for electing certain optional ways of treating some income and exclusion amounts.

  15. How do I request an extension of time to file Form 709?
    • Form 4868, request for extension, applies for both 1040 and 709 returns.
    • To request an extension for only Form 709, complete Form 8892. This form is not available in Drake but can be accessed from the IRS website.
      See Related Articles for additional details.

  16. What is new for 709 returns in Drake18?
    • Starting in Drake18, a Note is generated in view mode displaying the mailing address to send Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return:
    1. Mail Form 709 at the following address:
      Department of the Treasury
      Internal Revenue Service Center
      Kansas City, MO 64999
    2. If submitting by Private Delivery Service (PDS), mail to:
      Internal Revenue Service
      333 W. Pershing Road
      Kansas City, MO 64108

For more information see the Form 709 instructions.

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