This is a question for a tax atty, estate planning atty, or CPA. You need to talk to someone in your state familiar with both state and federal laws on this. Usually it depends upon how much you give in any specific year, what relation the person is, and whether it is to apply against the estate exemption applicable to inheritance taxes.
The gift taxable. However, you and your wife each have a $5 Million exclusion over your lifetime. As long as you do not exceed that, you will not owe any tax.
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Generally, those receiving the gifts are liable. The giftee must claim it as ascension to wealth (gross income), and the giftor doesn't do anything.
The settlement receivors are liable for their ascension to wealth ($1m) under normal income rules and the family/friends are liable under gift rules (there are particular rules for children/grandchildren).
Consult a tax/estate planning attorney or CPA, though. Tax is a uniquely complicated field.
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You and your wife each have an annual gift allowance of, $13,000.00 to anyone and as many as you choose. You really should hire a CPA or tax attorney for more details.
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