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In any case, it does no good to gift investments directly to the parents until the parents are reasonably thrifty and have some knowledge for managing the investments.

My point exactly. Thanks for saying it without the red herring issue of taxes.

Side note: tax fraud does not occur when the taxes are paid even if the person did not know they taxes were paid. The IRS does not care who paid them the money, just that it was paid. Even if you estimate badly and over pay they are fine. Under reporting and underpaying are different.

John
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