Nonspouse Real Estate Transfers Under Scrutiny

A recent court case reveals that the IRS has discovered a pattern of taxpayers failing to file gift tax returns for real property transfers between nonspouse related parties. As a result, it launched a compliance initiative to capture data from states and counties regarding real property transfers taking place between nonspouse family members for little or no consideration during the period of Jan. 1, 2005, through Dec. 31, 2010. While the IRS has faced hurdles in attempting to force California to release the data, a number of states have voluntarily done so. These include Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Thus, individuals who transferred real property to nonspouse family members should make sure that required gift tax returns were filed and file amended returns if they weren’t.