After staying the same for five years, the amount you can give away to any one individual in a particular year without reporting the gift will increase in 2018.
The annual gift tax exclusion for 2018 is rising from $14,000 to $15,000. This means that any person who gives away $15,000 or less to any one individual (anyone other than their spouse) does not have to report the gift or gifts to the IRS.
If you give away more than $15,000, you do not necessarily have to pay taxes, but you should file a gift tax return with the IRS (Form 709).
Note that gifts to a spouse are usually not subject to any federal gift taxes as long as the spouse is a U.S. citizen. If your spouse is not a U.S. citizen, you can give only $152,000 without reporting the gift (in 2018). Anything over that amount has to be reported on the gift tax return. Also, you do not need to report tax deductible gifts made to charities on a gift tax return unless you retain some interest in the gifted property.
With the increase in the gift tax, the amount you can give to an ABLE account allowing people with disabilities and their families to save up to $100,000 for disability related expenses without jeopardizing their eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and other government benefits is also increasing to $15,000.