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IRC 2513 Gift-Splitting Rules: Identifying Gifts Requiring Non-Pro Rata Allocations

Form 709 Reporting Gifts to Trusts With Non-Gifting Spouse Beneficiaries, Valuing Remainder Interests, and Splitting Strategies

Recording of a 110-minute CPE/CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will provide tax advisers and compliance professionals with a practical, beyond the basics guide to the Section 2513 “gift-splitting rules.” The panel will offer practical and detailed guidance on applying the rules to client situations involving GRATs, Crummey Trusts, and other vehicles that do not automatically permit an equal division of the gift tax exemption amount. The panel will describe available elections, detail necessary calculations, and illustrate proper reporting of split gifts on Form 709.


IRS Form 709 Gift (And Generation Skipping Tax) Return is one of the more complex of all commonly encountered tax filings. For many taxpayers and even some advisers, simply determining whether a transfer qualifies as a reportable gift is a challenge. Even tax professionals with experience in preparing the form can be stumped by the more complicated aspects of reporting these transfers.

One of the most difficult tests is navigating the gift-splitting rules of Section 2513. The rules allow a married couple to treat the total value of a gift as split between them, increasing their total gift tax exemption. In instances of gifts to individuals, the gift-splitting rules are straightforward in operation; however, when gifts are made to certain trust vehicles, the application does not always allow an equal split.

If a spouse makes a gift to a non-zeroed-out GRAT in which the spouse is a beneficiary of the remainder interest, the gift-splitting election will only be effective to the extent that the non-spouse beneficiaries’ interest is ascertainable and severable from the interest given to the spouse at the time of the gift.

Gifts to some trusts, such as irrevocable life insurance trusts, that feature Crummey powers also present challenges in navigating the gift-splitting rules. Tax advisers completing fiduciary returns must understand the specifics of the gift-splitting rules to avoid costly tax consequences.

Listen as our experienced panel provides a thorough and practical guide to the complexities of gift-splitting rule elections, calculations, and tax reporting on Form 709.



  1. Section 2513 Gift-Splitting default rules
    1. ’All-or-nothing” rule on gift splitting
    2. Consent issues
    3. Impact of powers of appointment
    4. Valuation of remainder interests
  2. Gift-splitting treatment of gifts to trusts where non-donor spouse has remainder interests
  3. Crummey Trusts
  4. Calculations of split gifts where the allocation is other than pro rata between gifting and non-gifting spouse
  5. Reporting unequal gift splits on Form 709


The panel will discuss these and other issues:

  • Under what gift scenarios would gift splitting generate a negative impact on the nongrantor spouse?
  • What is the impact of a non-donor spouse having a Crummey power in an irrevocable trust on gift-splitting calculations and exemption allocations?
  • Recognizing and calculating gift splits when the required allocation differs from a pro rata division
  • Identifying when a remainder interest is “ascertainable and severable”


Christiana M. Lazo
Christiana M. Lazo

Ropes & Gray

Ms. Lazo’s practice consists of representing ultra-high net worth individuals, their family offices, and closely...  |  Read More

Steiner, Bruce
Bruce D. Steiner

Of Counsel
Kleinberg Kaplan Wolff & Cohen

Mr. Steiner has over 35 years of experience in the areas of taxation, estate planning, business succession planning and...  |  Read More

Zeydel, Diana
Diana S.C. Zeydel

Greenberg Traurig

Ms. Zeydel is the National Chair of the firm’s Trusts and Estates practice, and she focuses on estate, trust and...  |  Read More

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