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For anyone who remembers the situation, here's an update and yes, color me more confused than ever.

The issue was that due to a court order, my father was prevented from selling family property, without our signatures, that was, in a divorce decree, intended to be passed down to his children. There is a buyer for the property, we have agreed to a settlement, from which my mother and sister get half their legal fees (stupid but don't ask) and I get a lump sum of money. I questioned whether this money was a gift or income, since my name isn't on the deed and the amount of my 'interest' isn't defined anywhere, although the court made it clear we DID have an interest, otherwise our signature wouldn't have been required.

I've spoken to two lawyers, both of whom say they don't see how it can be anything BUT a gift, and today saw a CPA who says it IS taxable, that the tax follows the person who gets the money - SOMEONE has to pay the tax. Her question was 'how is your father treating this money', and the answer is I don't know, we don't speak, but I will send his lawyer a request that he specify how my father will be treating this money. She gave me some homework to do, I am to find out the value of the property when my grandfather died and my father stepped in, and the value of the piece being sold now back in 1982 when my grandfather died (he and my grandmother owned the property jointly), which could help determine my basis....

She thinks (and out of saftey I agree) that the money should be put aside to pay the tax, depending on which tax bracket I fall in either 10 or 20%.

She said there is another alternative, there is a special form to send with the tax return saying in essence "Here is my position, two lawyers have told me this money should be considered a gift, if you think I'm wrong please explain". They could nail me for penalties and interest if they decide I'm wrong, which could end up being more than the tax.

Anyone have any new thoughts on this? The lawyers seem to be really flummoxed, but for lack of "hard" evidence, are saying this money should be considered a gift. OY!!!
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