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Sending a Gift to a US Green Card Holder: Tax Implications and Reporting


Content provided for general information. Talk to your advisor to learn about recent updates or other rules that may apply to your situation.

In the interconnected world we live in today, sending a gift to a family member living in a different country has become increasingly common. However, when it comes to sending money to a US green card holder, as a foreigner who has never visited the United States, it's essential to understand the potential tax implications and reporting requirements. In this blog post, we'll delve into the intricacies of gifting money to a US green card holder and explore whether the IRS would charge tax on the funds you send.

Understanding the Basics of Gifting

Gifting money to a family member, such as your sister, is generally considered a generous and kind act. In the United States, the IRS allows individuals to give gifts of a certain value to others without triggering gift tax liability. As of 2022, the annual gift tax exclusion was $15,000 per recipient. This means that you could give up to $15,000 to your sister without incurring gift tax.

However, the situation becomes slightly more complex when you are a non-US citizen or resident, and the recipient is a US green card holder. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Gift Tax Exclusion:

  • In your case, since your sister is a US green card holder, the annual gift tax exclusion applies to her.
  • If the gift amount is $15,000 or less, you should not have any gift tax liability, and your sister does not need to report the gift to the IRS.

2. Reporting to the IRS:

  • Even if the gift falls within the annual exclusion amount, your sister should keep a record of the gift and the source of the funds for her records.
  • The IRS may require her to disclose the foreign source of the funds if it investigates her tax return. It's crucial for her to maintain clear documentation to substantiate the gift's legitimacy.

3. Potential Taxation of Income Generated from the Gift:

  • If your sister decides to invest the gifted money in a platform like Robinhood, any income generated from those investments may be subject to taxation.
  • The taxation of investment income in the US can vary depending on the type of income (e.g., capital gains, dividends, interest), the amount of income, and your sister's overall tax situation.

4. Consult a Tax Advisor:

  • It's highly advisable for your sister to consult with a tax advisor or tax professional who is knowledgeable about US tax laws and regulations.
  • A tax advisor can provide personalized guidance based on her specific circumstances and the most up-to-date tax laws, as regulations can change over time.

Gifts from Multiple Sources:

In your question, you mentioned that the total amount of gifts your sister will receive in 2023 from all sources will be less than $100,000. This is an important detail, as gifts in excess of the annual exclusion can have tax implications.

1. Gift Tax Return (Form 709):

  • If the total value of gifts your sister receives from all sources exceeds the annual exclusion, she may be required to file a Gift Tax Return (Form 709) with the IRS.
  • The purpose of this return is to report gifts that are over the exclusion limit, although it does not necessarily mean she will owe gift tax. The exclusion amount simply acts as a threshold for reporting.

2. Unified Gift and Estate Tax:

  • In the United States, the gift tax is unified with the estate tax, which means that lifetime gifts may affect the size of your sister's estate for estate tax purposes.
  • The current federal estate tax exemption was $11.7 million in 2022. Any gifts made in excess of the annual exclusion would reduce this exemption.

In conclusion, sending a gift to your US green card holder sister should not, in most cases, trigger immediate gift tax liability if the total amount falls within the annual exclusion limits. However, your sister should be mindful of reporting requirements and maintaining proper documentation. The potential taxation of income generated from the gifted funds depends on the nature of the investments and her overall tax situation.

It's crucial to reiterate the importance of consulting a tax advisor or tax professional who can provide personalized guidance based on the most current tax laws and your sister's specific circumstances. Tax laws can change, and seeking professional advice ensures compliance with the latest regulations and helps avoid any unintended tax consequences.