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Does anyone know the rules for having your employer do such a thing? For example, I have been told by the places that I have been applying for mortgages that they will require a gift letter specifying that the gift from the employer is "no strings attached" and that I do not have to pay it back. Essentially, it works like a bonus.

So with either the case of a family member or an employer, will I or they have to include that amount in federal, state, local taxes?

Your family can gift you $10,000 each tax free. However, I believe your employer would be considered a taxable benefit, no matter how much the amount. It should go on the W2, if from an employer.
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