Sunday, March 11, 2007

Tax Benefits of Selling Your Home

Selling your home has many benefits in the tax world. The biggest tax break in selling your home is that you can exclude from taxes up to $250,000 in profit if you're a single owner, which translates into $500,000 for couples filing jointly. In addition, you will not owe any capital gains taxes. This exclusion also covers the sale of a parcel of land adjacent to your house, unless it's used for business.

Tax Rules of Selling Your Home

There are a few rules to regulate the tax benefits. Know them, live them, and use them to your full advantage!

The first rule is pretty straight forward: You must live in your home and it must be your principal residence.

Second, not only must you live in your home, but you must have lived in it for at least two of the previous five years. The two years that you have lived in it do not need to be in sequential order. You can rent your home for two years, live in it for one, rent it out for one more year, and live in it the last year, for a total of two years during the five year period. As long as you have lived in your home for two years during the last five, and can prove as much, you are covered.

Lastly, although there is no maximum to the number of personal residences that you can sell and reap tax-free gain, those sales must always happen two years apart. You can sell your residence and buy a new residence, and in two years you can sell that residence. You can do this over and over again as many times as you like, although don't forget, timing is crucial and planning is necessary.

When it comes to taxes, there are many rules, regulations, and changing seasons. Be sure to contact your attorney to find out the most current laws and check your unique situation. With a little education, research and planning, you can enjoy the tax benefits of selling your home - as many times as you like!


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