Who pays the gift tax?
The donor is generally responsible for paying the gift tax. Under special arrangements the doneemay agree to pay the tax instead. Please visit with your tax professional if you are considering this type of arrangement.
What is considered a gift?
Any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration (measured in money or money's worth) is not received in return.
How many annual exclusions are available?
The annual exclusion applies to gifts to each donee. In other words, if you give each of your children $11,000 in 2002-2005, $12,000 in 2006-2008, $13,000 in 2009-2012 and $14,000 on or after January 1, 2013, the annual exclusion applies to each gift. The annual exclusion for 2014 and 2015 is $14,000.
I'm not an accountant, but my understanding is that when cash gifts are given, the donor is responsible for paying the gift tax, not the recipient. The annual exclusion for tax purposes this year is $14,000 (per recipient).
I'd be surprised if very many J-dubs are donating more than that to any single CO in one year.