If I can, can she use it for things like bills or shared expenses between us?

If so, why aren't more people doing this? It seems like an easy way to shelter some money.

  • How will giving your wife money reduce your own tax liability?
    – BrenBarn
    Feb 9, 2015 at 21:16
  • @BrenBarn: I wasn't sure, hence a question. It was an off-handed comment from a relative. I will apply more salt-grains to their advice in the future. Feb 9, 2015 at 21:21
  • 6
    I think your relative may have seen the Shawshank Redemption, which immediately came to mind for me with this question. After googling a bit, it appears the law referenced in the movie is either no longer in effect or completely fictional. Feb 9, 2015 at 21:24

4 Answers 4


No. You will already have paid taxes on the gift you give to your wife, so there will be no tax savings.

  • Damn I knew there was a simple catch I was missing. Feb 9, 2015 at 21:21
  • 1
    Even if you could do it, you'd just be transferring tax liability from yourself to her. What would be the point?
    – JohnFx
    Feb 9, 2015 at 22:13
  • @JohnFx: She may get taxed differently if she has e.g. no income Feb 10, 2015 at 3:47
  • Only if they are filing separately.
    – JohnFx
    Feb 10, 2015 at 13:33

A direct gift to a person is never deductible. The kind relative was confusing this with a charitable gift. Which if to a qualified charity can be deducted as part of your itemized deductions. But there, the $14K doesn't enter the equation.

But, if your wife is a dog lover, you can donate to the ASPCA, and give her a note saying "in your honor I donated $14K to the ASPCA." That's a deduction.


If she is unemployed / stay-at-home caregiver, you can squirrel away up to $5,500 in a spousal IRA.


A gift between spouses has no tax implications.

If one spouse dies the inheritance tax is always zero no matter how much of the estate passes to the surviving spouse. Gift taxes are actually related to estate taxes, so a gift no matter how large never requires filing any tax forms or paying any taxes.

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