Excerpt taken from the article
Given the uncertainty surrounding next year's taxes, here is a reassuring thought: One of Uncle Sam's most useful tax benefits isn't expiring, shrinking or otherwise under threat after 2012.
Experts call it the "annual gift exclusion." It allows each taxpayer give anyone else up to $13,000 of assets per year, tax-free. There's no limit on the number of gifts if they are made to different people, and recipients don't have to be relatives.
An inflation adjustment will probably raise the amount to $14,000 next year, says Jim Young, an accounting professor at Northern Illinois University.
This break can pack a big punch. Richard Durso, a planner in Philadelphia, has an elderly client who made 13 gifts of $13,000 each last December and again in January, moving nearly $340,000 beyond the reach of taxes at death.
"Given the uncertainty about next year's estate taxes, using this exclusion is often a good idea," says Beth Kaufman
, an estate-tax attorney at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington.Click here to read the entire article on the annual gift exclusion