Under the annual gift tax exclusion, you can give gifts of cash or property up to a specified value to as many recipients as you would like with no gift tax consequences. The annual threshold for the exclusion is $14,000 for 2015.
This exclusion amount doubles for joint gifts made by a married couple. Let’s say that you and your spouse have three adult children and seven grandchildren. For 2015, both of you can give each child and grandchild $14,000 to celebrate the holidays — so $28,000 together. Then, in January, you can give each family member another $14,000. In a span of just two months, you and your spouse can reduce your estate by a total of $280,000 ($28,000 in gifts during 2015 times ten recipients).
For recipients, the amount received as a gift doesn’t count as income for tax purposes.