My in-laws gave us some land with an estimated fair market value of $40,800 this year. They are paying any gift tax they may owe.
Your in-laws will not owe any federal gift tax on this gift unless they have already each used up their lifetime unified credit against gift and estate taxes, which would mean that they have already made gifts during their lifetime exceeding $5.45 million, and that limit goes up to 5.49 million next year. If they do it right, and assuming no other gifts from them to you in 2016, they won’t even need to use up any of that unified credit. They may need to file the federal gift tax return (Form 709) in April, but that would be about it. Few states have their own gift tax, so it is unlikely that they will have any state gift tax to worry about.
You will want to get from your inlaws what their income tax basis in the property is along with documentation to prove that basis because that will be important to you should you sell the land some time in the future.
We are paying the property tax for the whole year which is $1,046.
The county allows payment of property taxes in either December or January. One of my co-workers suggested that we could pay property taxes in for this year in January and next year in December and that way we'd get a double property tax credit (currently ~$130/yr) off our state income taxes next year.
I don't see any advantage to doing that. To me its just making everything more complicated. Am I missing something?
And you’d get a double deduction on the federal income tax deduction for property taxes paid, too. But that doubling up next year (and delaying a deduction/credit you would get for 2016) is only really worth doing in two situations: (1) if you expected enough higher income for 2017 for some reason next year that might push you into a higher income tax bracket or (2) if your itemized deductions are not enough to exceed the standard deduction this year but you might have enough to make itemizing deductions worthwhile next year.