NEW YORK – June 21, 2016 – One of the questions readers ask most often is how much of their gain will go to Uncle Sam if they sell their home. Tax rules are highly favorable for homeowners. Most sellers wind up owing no capital-gains tax on their profits, according to a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors.
However, there are important exceptions, such as for those with exceptionally large gains who live in high-tax areas.
Married couples filing jointly typically can exclude as much as $500,000 of the gain on the sale of their primary residence. Singles can exclude up to $250,000. In most cases, they can qualify for the maximum exclusion amount if they have owned their home – and used it as their main home – for at least two of the five years before the sale date.
Sellers who do not qualify for the maximum exclusion still may be eligible for major relief depending on several factors, such as why they sold – like a work-related move, health reason or unforeseeable events.
Source: Wall Street Journal (06/12/16) Herman, Tom
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