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We have finally decided to purchase our first home and we plan to borrow interest free money from friends and family to pay off 20% downpayment and get cheaper interest/escape PMI.

IRS says .. "The donor is generally responsible for paying the gift tax." and "The annual exclusion for 2014 and 2015 is $14,000."

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Frequently-Asked-Questions-on-Gift-Taxes#1

  1. If I borrow $5,000 from 5 different friends amounting to $25,000 do I or they need to worry about gift taxes?

  2. If I have around 6,000 cash in hand which I deposit to my bank for the downpayment, is that considered as gift?

  3. Both me and my wife are on the title, but the mortgage will be under my name, so can I assume any payment coming from my wife's account wont be treated as gift?

  • Once your friends sign documents insisting that those $5K amounts are gifts, you are under no legal obligation to return those amounts to them. If you refuse to return the money, they could sue you but those pieces of paper saying that those monies are gifts are a good defense against their lawsuit. If instead you take the money as a 0% interest loan and not a gift, then you are deemed to have paid your friends interest at IRS specified rates, and your friends must declare the interest as income (and pay taxes on the interest) even though no cash changes hands. – Dilip Sarwate Jul 30 '15 at 2:48
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You are using interchangeably borrow/loan and gift. They are very different.

For the mortgage company, they would prefer that the money from friends and family be a gift. If it is a loan, then you have an obligation to pay it back. If they see money added to your bank accounts in the months just before getting the loan, they will ask for the source of the money. Anything you claim as a gift will be required to be documented by you and the person making the gift. You don't want to lie about it, and have the other person lie about it. They will make you sign documents, if they catch you in a lie you can lose the loan, or be prosecuted for fraud.

If the money from friends and family is a loan, the payments for the loan will impact the amount of money you can borrow.

From the view of the IRS the gift tax only comes into play if during one calendar year a person makes a gift to somebody else of 14,000 or more. There are two points related to this. It is person-to-person. So if your dad gives you 14K, and your mom gives you 14K, and your dad gives your wife 14k and your mom gives your wife 14K; everything is fine. So two people can give 2 people 56K in one year. Please use separate checks to make it clear to the IRS.

If somebody gives a gift above the exclusion limit for the year, they will have to complete IRS form 709. This essentially removes the excess amount from their life time exclusion, in other words from their estate.

  1. If I borrow $5,000 from 5 different friends amounting to $25,000 do I or they need to worry about gift taxes?

Nothing to worry about from the IRS. The bank wants to see the documentation. Also you are not a charity, so they can't claim it as a donation.

  1. If I have around 6,000 cash in hand which I deposit to my bank for the downpayment, is that considered as gift?

Why do you have 6,000 in cash sitting around. The mortgage company will want an explanation for all large deposits so you better have a good explanation.

  1. Both me and my wife are on the title, but the mortgage will be under my name, so can I assume any payment coming from my wife's account wont be treated as gift?

From the IRS FAQ on Gift Taxes:

What can be excluded from gifts? The general rule is that any gift is a taxable gift. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. Generally, the following gifts are not taxable gifts.

  1. Gifts that are not more than the annual exclusion for the calendar year.
  2. Tuition or medical expenses you pay for someone (the educational and medical exclusions).
  3. Gifts to your spouse.
  4. Gifts to a political organization for its use.

Number 3 on the list is the one you care about.

  • You said "Anything you claim as a gift will be required to be documented by you and the person making the gift." How do we document that? Also, does it matter to mortgage company or IRS if I make certain downpayment using cash in hand? – hmajumdar Jul 29 '15 at 20:26
  • Here are just some of the requirements for documenting sources of down payments: portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=4155-1_5_secB.pdf This is just the rules for the FHA loans, Each lender may have their own rules. – mhoran_psprep Jul 29 '15 at 20:52

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