Anyone can make a gift to you. There is no limit on how much you can receive. However, if anyone gives you more than $14,000 in 2013, they are supposed to file a gift tax return.
E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.
Gifts are made by donors and do not affect the donee but the donor is the one who must account for them. Each US resident can make a non-reportable and non-taxable gift of up to $14,000 beginning in 2013 and up to $28,000 per donee if the gift is agreed to be split by a spouse. So as a donee yuo can receive many of those amounts if from all different persons. This should clearly be discussed with a tax attorney in advance to properly plan for it.
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There is no limit to the amount of monetary gifts you can receive - anyone who wants to give you money can give you money and, in general, you won't owe taxes simply because you got a gift of money (or most other assets). "Anyone" includes literally anyone, even some stranger who's never met you before and simply decides one day to give you some money.
There is a basic limit applies to the people giving the money, not the people receiving the gifts: each person cannot give more than $14,000 to any one person in 2013 without having to file a gift tax return and potentially without having to pay gift tax on that gift. The requirement to file a gift tax return applies once a person gives you more than $14,000; however, if the person chooses to apply some of their lifetime estate tax exclusion to any gifts they give you over $14,000, they may not have to pay any gift tax even though they still have to file a gift tax return.
There is one final caveat that I want to raise since you've brought up the question of having various family members make gifts to you: any gifts you receive from a particular person must come from that person's own funds and not from money that was given to them by someone else for the express purpose of then giving the money to you. As an illustration: your parents could not give you $28,000 ($14,000 from each) and then give your brother another $14,000 with the intent that he use that money to make another gift to you of $14,000. In that case, your parents would still be treated as having given that third $14,000 amount to you and that would trigger the requirement that they file a gift tax return and pay gift tax.
The bottom line is this: if your family is considering making gifts to you from various family members that will in the aggregate be a substantial sum of money, you would be well-advised to speak with an estate planning or tax attorney first to make sure that you and your family won't have tax problems as a result of their planned gifts to you. Please do not just do it yourself based on answers you get for free online from people whom you've never met and whom you haven't retained to advise you.
My answer does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon by anyone for any purpose and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship or an offer to form such a relationship. This disclaimer is intended to be fully compliant with the requirements of Treasury Department Circular 230 and the terms thereof are fully incorporated by reference. If you wish to consult with me please contact me at dwatchley@newyorktaxcounsel or visit my website at www.newyorktaxcounsel.com