A family, two parents and their three “adult children,” decided to skip the purchase and exchange of Christmas gifts. None of them wanted or needed anything.
On Christmas Eve, they assembled to enjoy their traditional family dinner. After eating, they were about to clear the table when old dad made a suggestion. He said he felt that all of them might find a gift of $100 could come in handy.
He pulled a $100 bill out of his wallet and passed it on to his wife. Having no cash in her pocket, she decided to pass it to their oldest son. He did the same to his sister. She was a generous person so she passed the bill to her younger brother. Not wanting to see his father not get a cash gift, he passed it on to his father. At that point everyone felt good. Each family member had received and given a gift of $100.
Of course, there was one unexpected issue to be resolved. The state they live in has a 20% gift tax. The $100 gift each had received came with a $20 gift tax due. So who got the real gift? The state, of course, as a tax of $20 X 5 family members equals $100.