My dad needs home care and I do this but am losing pay from work. people born in the 20's are stubborn and he refuses to let a stranger care for him. My Mom is there 24/7 but she gets wore out. I take care of both there meds, take them to doc. app. shopping etc... he can no longer drive he cannot even walk on OX 24/7
The annual gift exclusion is $13,000. It is $26,000 per recipient if you are married and file jointly, and you make an election on your return. If you surpass this, the excess counts against your lifetime gift credit of $1 million. Unless you surpass this $1 million, you will not be subject to gift tax. When you die, this amount will also go against your estate credit. Once you surpass either of these credits, the estate tax is steep and is owed by the person gifting the assets.
Mr. Larson is correct that the annual exclusion amount is currently $13,000. This can be given to as many people per year as the donor (your father) wants without taking away from the lifetime exclusion. Currently the lifetime exclusion on gifts is $5 million. If the laws do not change, this amount will decrease to $1 million starting 01/01/2013.
It sounds like you may need an elder law attorney rather than a tax attorney. An elder law attorney can help you with making gifts (or other asset transfers) while still making sure that your parents will qualify for whatever government benefits they can.
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I concur with the previous responders: you definitely need to seek assistance from a reputable attorney who practices in the area of Elder Law.
One additional thing you might want to consider, or ask your attorney about, is the possibility of preparing a contract for your father to pay you for the services you are providing. This would enable him to shift funds to you, although you would have to include this on your personal income tax return.
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