If my wife and I (filing jointly) wanted to give my brother and his
wife (filing jointly) a maximum gift would that be $56,000 / year? (I
give 14k to my brother and 14k to his wife, and then my wife gives 14k
to my brother and 14k to his wife?)
That is almost exactly right.
The only things that are incorrect are:
- it doesn't matter if they are family
- it doesn't matter what the filing status of the recipient.
the IRS does have a FAQ regarding gift taxes:
How many annual exclusions are available?
The annual exclusion applies to gifts to each donee. In other words,
if you give each of your children $11,000 in 2002-2005, $12,000 in
2006-2008, $13,000 in 2009-2012 and $14,000 on or after January 1,
2013, the annual exclusion applies to each gift. The annual exclusion
for 2014, 2015, and 2016 is $14,000.
What if my spouse and I want to give away property that we own together?
You are each entitled to the annual exclusion amount on the gift.
Together, you can give $22,000 to each donee (2002-2005) or $24,000
(2006-2008), $26,000 (2009-2012) and $28,000 on or after January 1,
2013 (including 2014, 2015, and 2016).