Suppose the Child in College pays 55% of her Support with her own funds. Then Child cannot be claimed as a dependent on Parents' return.
So would the 45% of the her Support paid by Parents, less direct payment there-within to school (for tuition) and medical service providers (for medical expenses including insurance premium), now be counted as "gifts"?
To be more concrete, suppose Parents buy Child a sweater, would this be a gift now?
Edit: Further clarification:
This is for the normal situation where parents and child are all US tax residents living in US.
Also I know that IRS probably does not CARE. But I want to know the exact legal answer. Also, I am not asking about the annual exemption or lift-time exemption. I just want a precise black and white answer --- is this a gift or not. (If on the other hand, Child paid less than 50% of her support and thus CAN BE CLAIMED AS A DEPENDENT, then buying her a sweater would be paying for her Support. Even if such sweaters add up to more than $30K, there is no relevance to gift/estate taxes.)