My parent gifted me a sum of money and then realized they needed it back for a future financial obligation. Based on my (possibly incorrect) understanding of gift/estate taxes, each transfer back and forth is a gift and independent taxable event. I also understand that we both have an enormous lifetime exemption where this ultimately probably does not matter. Nonetheless here are my questions:

  1. Does it matter if I return the money in the same year, or a different one? i.e. if I transfer the money back in the same tax year, can we pretend we didn't make the transfer? Does it matter if the transfers are in different tax years?

  2. If I transfer this money back to him, and then I later inherit it, would he effectively be double taxed on this money, as it counts twice towards the lifetime/gift/estate tax?

  3. Do I also count this gift against my future estate?

  4. If he then transferred the money back to me again, I assume this continues to count against the tax, right? i.e. for tax purposes we should try to minimize these transactions, in the event it ultimately mattered.

  • Is the amount more or less than $15,000? Is the parent who made the gift married? Are you married?
    – The Photon
    Apr 29, 2021 at 18:33
  • >15K. The parent is married. I am not married (though may be soon, if relevant).
    – user788497
    Apr 29, 2021 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


The process for turning down a gift or an inheritance (usually done for tax reasons) is called a disclaimer and strict rules apply. ... You must disclaim within nine months of receiving the gift. And more significantly, in order for a disclaimer to be valid, the gift recipient generally may not have accepted an interest in the asset or any of its benefits.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .