New Case on Loan vs. Gift
In a low-interest rate environment, loans by wealthy parents to children often makes sense from a planning perspective. If the recipient can invest the proceeds and earn more than the low interest rate charged, the net profit is effectively transferred without a taxable gift.
It is important that the loan be respected as a loan and not a gift. A recent Tax Court Memorandum decision dealt with this issue. In the case, the taxpayer had made significant loans over time from 1984 to 2007. The issue was whether these were bona fide loans or taxable gifts.
The Tax Court noted the traditional factors in determining whether a transfer is a loan or a gift – namely these factors support a loan: ( 1) there was a promissory note or other evidence of indebtedness, (2) interest was charged, (3) there was security or collateral, (4) there was a fixed maturity date, (5) a demand for repayment was made, (6) actual repayment was made, (7) the transferee had the ability to repay, (8) records maintained by the transferor and/or the transferee reflect the transaction as a loan . . .