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Can you deduct a gift of money to a family member?

are you able to deduct gifts or loans (that you know will not be repaid) as a deduction?  If yes, what type of deduction should it be listed as?
    Unfortunately, such gifts are not deductible. You can not deduct as a charitable donation gifts made to an individual or individuals. Only gifts made to charitable organizations recognized as such by the IRS are deductible.
      May I deduct gifts on my income tax return?
      Making a gift or leaving your estate to your heirs does not ordinarily affect your federal income tax. You cannot deduct the value of gifts you make (other than gifts that are deductible charitable contributions).

      To be deductible, charitable contributions must be made to qualified organizations. Payments to individuals are never deductible. See Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. To determine if the organization that you have contributed to qualifies as a charitable organization for income tax deductions, review Exempt Organizations Select Check on the IRS.gov website.
        No. Gifts to individuals (family or not) can't be deducted.
        (Also, there's actual or 'imputed' interest on a loan, which you may have to declare as income).

        • I actually made the loan to them to cover school expenses.  Would I still have to pay imputed interest?
        • Yes. Since you are not a qualified lender, authorized to issue student loans, it has to be considered for personal purposes and between related parties. However, imputed interest does not apply to loans below $10,000.
        There is no deduction for loaning anyone money, in fact, you will need to declare the income received or added to the loan each year.

        Under certain conditions, it is possible to write off a loan gone bad.  See tax topic 453 athttp://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc453.html

        The loan should be in writing, charging a competitive interest rate, you have declared the interest on your tax returns,  you must be able to show what specific steps you took to collect on the loan, possibly to the point of taking the party to court.  Expect an uphill battle with the IRS with the burden of proof on you.

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