Do I have to file a Gift Tax Return?
Yes, any time you make a gift to someone in an amount larger than $16,000.
You report the gift amount that is more than $16,000 on a gift tax return. (For a gift of $17,000 cash, the reportable gift is $1,000).
If you're married, each spouse can gift $16,000 to the same person before needing to file a gift tax return. Gifts between spouses generally never require a gift tax return. One married couple can gift a 2nd married couple $64,000 before being required to file a gift tax return. (Each spouse makes two $16,000 gifts, totaling four separate gifts of $16,000 or $64,000.)
You pay no gift tax when you file a gift tax return. The reportable gift is, instead, just remembered and then added to your estate after you die. If your estate and gifts are more than $12.06 million in 2022, then you pay estate taxes.
The gift tax return is due April 15th in the year after the gift. You will need to file a federal gift tax return and maybe a state gift tax return, depending on your residence. Connecticut and New York require a separate gift tax return.