Each person (donor) is permitted to gift anyone up to a specified amount each year with no gift tax consequences. The amount in 2006 is $12,000 and it is increased by inflation in future years. You can also gift unlimited amounts for tuition and medical expenses if paid directly to providers. Many powers of attorney (a document in which you designate an agent to handle your affairs if you cannot) include express provisions permitting your agent to make annual gifts.
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