Spousal Gifting for Non-US Citizens

08 Mar

greeceIt’s no secret that there are tax advantages to being married.  I for one was excited when I got married because that meant I only had to file one joint return instead of two separate returns each year.  While that’s just more of a time saver, there are many monetary advantages to being married.

One benefit that couples may not realize exists is the marital deduction, which allows one spouse unlimited gifting power to his or her spouse without having to pay any gift tax.  However, a caveat to this rule is that the spouse receiving the gift must be a US citizen.  So when a spouse makes a gift to his or her noncitizen spouse, there are limits placed on how much can be gifted to that spouse while having the transfer remain tax-free.  This is essentially the same concept as the annual gift tax exclusion, but of a much higher value and for spouses

So just how much can a spouse gift to his or her non-US citizen spouse before having to think about the tax consequences?  In 2013, the threshold amount is $143,000, meaning a gift of any amount less than that to a noncitizen spouse would still be tax-free, while any amount over the $143,000 would be subject to the gift tax.


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