The annual gift tax exemption for individuals in 2015 is $16,000, according to Forbes magazine. The maximum gift tax is evaluated every year by the Internal Revenue Service and may change from one year to the next based on inflation.
The gift tax exemption is tied to the estate tax exemption, which determines amount of money individuals can pass on to heirs without paying an estate tax, Forbes explains. This means that the total amount of gift tax exemptions an individual takes in his lifetime is deducted from the amount of estate tax exempt inheritance heirs may receive. Gifts that are given for certain medical or educational expenses and paid directly to the service provider do not count towards the gift tax exemption or estate tax exemption limits.