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So I lend a child less than $12000 for a car. I haven't gifted anything of substance that year and neither has my husband. Is there any reason I have to charge market interest or any interest on the loan for the IRS to be happy ?

Good question, though personally I wouldn't worry about it. If the IRS were to come knoocking, I would take the position the $12,000 is a loan, but the required interest is a gift.
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