The Gift Tax Lien

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The Gift Tax Lien

Under IRC §6324(b), the gift tax lien comes into existence upon the making of a gift by a donor, if the donor is, in fact, liable for a tax in respect to such gift, or any other in the same taxable year. The gift tax lien, like the estate tax lien, arises automatically, and requires no action by the Service. Unless the donor files a gift tax return, there is no statute of limitations on the gift and the Service may examine the gift at any time.

The gift tax lien attaches only to the property that is the subject of the gift. It does not attach to any of the donor’s property. It may attach to the other property of the recipient of the gift in a manner similar to the way an estate tax lien may attach to other property of a decedent’s distributees or transferees. This is because the recipient is made personally liable for any gift tax incurred by the donor on a gift, made during the calendar year, to the extent of the value of the property received if the tax is not paid when due.

A separate assessment against the donee is not required to make the gift tax lien enforceable against the donee’s property. Any part of the property which was the subject of the gift that is transferred by the recipient to a purchaser or holder of a security interest will be divested of the lien and, to the extent of the value of such transfer, the lien will attach to the property of the donee, including after-acquired property.

Property that comprises the gift or a portion of the gift in issue, which is transferred by the recipient to a purchaser or holder of a security interest is divested of the lien. Likewise the recipient’s own property to which the lien shifts is in turn divested of the lien if it is transferred to a purchaser or holder of a security interest. The exceptions for superpriorities applicable to estate tax liens also apply to gift tax liens.

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