Alan S. wrote:You can do it, but it appears both spouses will have to file a 709 to elect gift splitting. The exception is for community property state residents making gifts from community funds, where the 50-50 split is automatic. The OP was from NJ which is not a CP state.
Additional gifts from either spouse would then exceed the 13k annual exclusion per donee, and the excess would become a taxable gift. Not currently taxable, but a reduction in the remaining unified credit.
That is not how I interpret the instructions for for 709 for year 2012:
When the Consenting Spouse Must Also File a Gift Tax Return
In general, if you and your spouse elect gift splitting, then both spouses must file his or her own, individual, gift tax return.
However, only one spouse must file a return if the requirements of either of the exceptions below are met. In the exceptions below, gifts means transfers (or parts of transfers) that do not qualify for the political organization, educational, or medical exclusions.
Exception 1. During the calendar year:
Only one spouse made any gifts,
The total value of these gifts to each third-party donee does not exceed $26,000, and
All of the gifts were of present interests.
Exception 2. During the calendar year:
Only one spouse (the donor spouse) made gifts of more than $13,000 but not more than $26,000 to any third-party donee,
The only gifts made by the other spouse (the consenting spouse) were gifts of not more than $13,000 to third-party donees other than those to whom the donor spouse made gifts, and
All of the gifts by both spouses were of present interests.
If either of the above exceptions is met, only the donor spouse must file a return and the consenting spouse signifies consent on that return.