Multilingual Legal Translations and Minimizing Gift Taxes on Overseas Transfers

Legal Document Translation Services for Tax Services

We’ve blogged about legal document translation services for estate tax purposes and about multilingual legal language services during estate transfers to non-citizen spouses. Here’s a common scenario: a US resident (or citizen) is looking to buy property in the US. A parent, who lives abroad, wants to give the child money to help with the purchase. However, the transfer will be subject to US gift taxes, which makes the entire transfer less attractive and the opportunity to purchase the property less likely.

As a general rule, any transfer of money from a foreign account into a US account, regardless of whether one is a citizen, resident or a green card holder, will be subject to US gift taxes. One option to minimize this risk, in cases where the receiving party is a foreign national, is to have the gift transfer happen offshore. In other words, the parent would transfer the money to an account owned by the receiving party but held outside the US. In this case, the transfer would not be subject to US gift taxes (although it could be subject to similar taxes within that jurisdiction).

Why avoid gift taxes? For example, if the gift is $20,000.00, then the giver would owe gift tax on $7,000.00 – meaning they would need to file a gift tax return in the US, which would likely involve the need for a foreign language translation.

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