The IRS recently announced safe harbor rates for April 2012. Safe harbor rates are the minimum interest rates that can be used to avoid gift tax treatment that is associated with below market rate loans. The minimum interest rates for April are still very attractive.
0.25% per year for loans for 3 years or less;
1.15 per year for loans greater than 3 years and up to 9 years; and
2.7% per year for loans greater than 9 years.
Some uses for these loans include business financing, business startup expenses, loans for a mortgage, or loans from irrevocable trusts to an estate of the deceased to cover administrative expenses and taxes. These Loans should always be documented by promissory notes and payments must be accounted for on a regular basis or they can be disallowed.