Cash tips would be tax free under Wisconsin proposal
Tax break gifts for moms on Mother's (and every) Day

Tax considerations when your Mother's Day gift is cash

Mothers are the personification of "it's the thought that counts" when it comes to presents. Any mom would enjoy Mother's Day breakfast in bed on these plates made by her youngsters. (Photo courtesy Mrs. Goff's Pre-K Tales)

Bought your mom a Mother's Day gift yet?

If so, or even if you're still decided what to give her tomorrow, chances are you'll go the traditional route.

"This year, besides the traditional cards, flowers, and clothing, spa services have come into their own as they are seen as more personalized and customizable gifts to pamper Mom," noted Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, Inc., the New York-based consumer loyalty and brand engagement consulting firm.

Overall, Brand Keys research says Mother's Day 2019 anticipated consumer spending will be up by 4 percent over last year. Children are expected to spend on average $233, based on finding from the firm's annual survey.

Men, following a long-standing tradition, say they will spend more, an average of $255, than women, who anticipate spending $211 on mom.

Beyond cards and flowers: The biggest jump comes in the spa category, according to the survey. It's showing an 11 percent increase over last year, more than two times the growth for gift cards the next largest growth category.

I totally get the spa idea. In fact, my mother and I have spent several spa days together, both for her birthday, Mother's Day and just because we deserved it!

Cash counts: When it comes to gifts, though, I tend to be a "say it with cash" kind of gal. Maybe it was the $5 that my grandmother used to give my brother and me on special occasions.

And yes, my grandmother was like everyone else's, she didn't every adjust the amount as the years and cost of living increased.

Mainly, though, as I got older, I didn't really need or want much. And when relatives lived far away and we only got together rarely, it was hard to know what would be a really good gift.

So I tend to pick a nice card and stick a prepaid debit card in it.

Yes, I tend to follow the Internal Revenue Service definition of cash. As noted in my earlier post on tipping, the term covers not just currency, but credit and debit card charges.

I know some people think my cash gift approach is crass and, yes, a tad lazy. But I've always been more practical than sentimental.

And the old saying is true. Cash always fits and green looks good on everyone!

Cash and taxes: My monetary gift approach also brings me to this weekend's Saturday Shout Out selection. It's an article by David Weliver at Money Under 30 on the tax implications of cash gifts.

The quick take is that taxes are not ever a concern for the person getting the monetary present.

As for the giver, that generous person can give up a lot — up to $15,000 this year (it's adjusted annually for inflation) — without having to worry about paying the federal gift tax.

Check out Money Under 30's post for more information and details on cash gifts and taxes.

Most of us, obviously, will fall below the 15-grand tax threshold, both as givers and recipients. But it's still a tax topic that deserves your attention just in case you're even in the position to dole out lots of dollars to family and friends.

And this weekend, whatever your get your mother — or get from your family if you are a mom — I hope tomorrow and all future Mother's Days are great!

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I always welcome the opportunity to explore new sources of information on tax topics, especially those which target the younger population. However, note the 2nd sentence of the following which was copied from Weliver's article "It’s important to note that support from your parents or guardians while they can still claim you as a dependent does not constitute a gift. Your parents can give you all the money in the world while they’re claiming you on their taxes and it will never be taxed as a gift." The statement in that 2nd sentence is so **obviously and completely wrong**, I struggled to find words to adequately describe how preposterous that statement is. FWIW I just Googled "preposterous" and the following synonyms were listed "absurd, ridiculous, foolish, stupid, ludicrous, farcical, laughable", confirming to me that preposterous is an appropriate choice IMO.

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