Question: My parents are really excited for my wife and I to buy a house, as is my grandmother. So much so that between them they'd like to give us $30K to help with a down payment. Would this gift become "income" and therefore be subject to taxes? If so, are there any clever ways to make this money non-taxable? Thanks! David, Walla Walla WA

Answer: There's no need to be clever. In 2008 you can gift up to $12,000 to a person without paying taxes on it. Your parents and your grandmother could gift you $12,000 each for a total of $36,000 without tax consequences. They could double that sum by gifting the same amount to your wife.

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