The Federal Tax Code has significantly improved the American taxpayer's ability to profit by selling a principal residence. Prior to 1997, homeowners could take advantage of a tax benefit termed the "rollover", which granted exemption from capital gains taxes on the net profit from the sale of a home. Homeowners who used profits to purchase a bigger and better home did not have to pay tax. And homeowners over the age of 55 were given a once-in-a-lifetime exclusion from taxes on profits of up to $125,000 on the sale of their principal residence.
Compare those tax breaks with our current, streamlined and potentially more profitable arrangement that replaced both the rollover and the one-time exemption. If you are a married home-seller filing jointly, you may enjoy up to $500,000 in tax-free home sale profits, provided you have occupied the property as your principal residence during two of the last five years. Taxpayers who file singly get a $250,000 capital gains exclusion. Homeowners are eligible to exclude capital gains on the sale of a principal residence as often as once every two years.
The law allows capital gain exclusions whether you "buy up" to a more expensive home or "buy down" to a less expensive one. The tax-free dollars can be used in any way you want. Consult your tax advisor for detailed advice about your particular circumstance.Â
Homeownership can be a real joy. It's time to get off the fence and into a home that is right for you!Â Â
Do These Real Estate Tips Really Apply to YOU?
We've learned these tips through years of experience as top real estate agents. But we know that YOUR situation might be different. That's why we're here.
It's our job to personally advise homebuyers and sellers. Ask us if any tip that we've included here really applies to your situation.Â
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