if i sell my house, that i owe about 230k on, how much do i have to pay to the government or state?

Asked by Bigeating, Mid City, Los Angeles, CA Tue Nov 8, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Ron Thomas’ answer
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Wed Nov 9, 2011
you aren't giving us enough information:
The debt isn't important, the profit is:
Are you upside/down; probably not in L>A>
Without dispensing tax advice; (you should take tax questions to your tax man)
You wouldn't owe anything on the sale of your Principle Residence, if you reinvest it within a specific period of time. I think this related to State and Federal; but you want to check me on that, since I am not giving you tax advice.

Good luck and may God bless
1 vote
Gail Mercedes…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Sat Jun 22, 2013
I think you are referring to Capital Gains. There are different rates for individual and couples. Need to know the net profit from sale to determine if there is or is not any capital gains. Check with your tax accountant.

Gail Mercedes Cole
EXP Realty
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Fri Jun 22, 2012
Dear Big,
Oh, you are speaking of Capital Gains Tax. Your marital status is a factor, as well as if you are owner occupant of the property.
It's best (in my opinion) when looking for tax advice, to speak to a person who specalzes in taxes, so that you are sure your information is up to date and accurate.
0 votes
Myrna Averia, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Dec 26, 2011
great answers here from realtors. it is best to consult with a tax professional.
if and when you are looking to find out more about value of your home, contact a realtor.

myrna averia
broker associate
323 300 1143
lic 01269474
Web Reference:  http://justlistedmyhome.com
0 votes
Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Mon Dec 26, 2011
Hello Bigeating, I am assuming you are not owner occupied in this property. Consult with your tax professional as capital gains will probably apply. If you do live in the property or have been considered owner occupied for the last 2 out of 5 years, then single people can usually deduct $250,000 that is not taxable and married couples $500,000 that is not taxable.

Remember when they calculate what you own, it is the sale price minus the price you paid, minus any loans, liens, and fees associated with selling, and also minus any upgrades costs you incurred. Your accountant or tax professional should easily be able to answer this question more in detail for you.

Have a wonderful day,
Heather Paul, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
0 votes
Marco Gomez &…, Agent, Jackson Heights, NY
Tue Nov 15, 2011
Talk to your accountant. But here's the non official overview. If you've lived in the house as your primary residence 2 of the last 5 years and you're single then you're exempt from the first 250,000 and 500,000 if you're married. If this doesn't apply and you're subject to cap gains then the answer is 15% of the profit.

Marco Gomez
NYS Associate Broker
Keller Williams Landmark II
Serving Queens, Brooklyn & Nassau
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Fri Nov 11, 2011
Are you talking tax when you say "owe the government"? Generally the tax you pay is the difference between the purchase price and the sales price. You would pay either a short term (if you owned the home for less than 2 years) or long term capital gains. I think that's what you're asking. If not please enlighten me.
0 votes
Shel-lee Dav…, Agent, Rolling Hills Estates, CA
Thu Nov 10, 2011
Many good answers below. Just know that every situation is different and the amount you owe on the home has absolutely no bearing on the tax consequences of the sale. My recommendation, talk to a tax professional who specializes in real estate deals and knows the nuances of today's changes in tax laws (especially if you owe more on your home than it is worth). If you don't have such a professional let me know. I would be happy to give you the name of a great CPA in the LA area that is well versed in area. Making a decision, once you have the full knowledge of the facts, is easy.

Good Luck and Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, QSC®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource – SFR®
Certified HAFA Specialist – CHS®
SSG Pro®
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
424-2HELP12 (424-243-5712)
0 votes
Anthony Mene…, , Los Angeles, CA
Wed Nov 9, 2011
That is a tax question, you would have to ask your tax person or CPA to better assit you as Real estate agents are not CPA's or Attorneys unless we are licensed in that field. I am though a Real Estate Broker and REALTOR and would be more than willing to help you in your Real Estate transaction.
0 votes
Gerard Carney, Agent, Spring Hill, FL
Wed Nov 9, 2011
If you have lived in your home 2 of the last 5 years then you can profit up to $250,000 profit before you would have to pay capital gains tax, if married then it would be $500,000 before paying capital gains tax!
0 votes
Myrna Averia, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Nov 9, 2011
great question. it is best to contact a real estate professional. More information is helpful.
What is the value of your home? a real estate professional will be able to provide you real estate valuation.

Please contact a Real Estate Professional who will better assess your situation. A tax expert is another source.

Myrna Averia
323 300 1143
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Wed Nov 9, 2011
This is a very complex question with few facts with which to work,
Every situation is different and the outcomes vary with each situation.
YOU MUST CONSULT AN ATTORNEY OR FINANCIAL ADVISOR to determine the consequences for any action you may take.

If critical importance is knowing if you are:
1. Selling your home and bringing cash to the table to pay off the balance
2. Selling your home for a profit
3. Selling your home for less than the balance of the mortgage (short sale)

As you may be aware, if #3 is your situation, the amount that may be forgiven by the bank will be stated in a 1099 as unearned income. This amount will reflect the highest possible amount the bank can create by adding penalties, late fees, legal fees, admin fees, baggage fees, lunch fees, parking tickets, RNC donations, and if they can, they'll slip in a few bucks for the off-shore call center. Working with your attorney or financial adviser who will have intimate knowledge of your situation will most likely result in a favorable outcome.

From your question it can not be determined what your situation is. Seek guidance from a professional.
0 votes
Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Tue Nov 8, 2011
Hello Bigeating, it is going to depend upon a few things. Has it been your primary residence for at lease two years? If it has, you get to keep up to $250,000 of your proceeds tax free, if you are married, this amount is up to $500,000. I do highly recommend talking with both a local Realtor and your tax professional for your tax questions as they will be able to answer your questions regarding your specific circumstances.

Feel free to call me or email me anytime.
Have a great day,
Heather Paul, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Tue Nov 8, 2011
There are 2 answers I need to know in order to properly answer your question.

1. Do you owe more on your home than it is worth & will you be selling as a Short Sale?
a. Is this your Primary Residence or an Investment property?

2. Do you have equity & are you concerned about a Capital Gains Tax issue?

Email me directly, I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.

562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue Nov 8, 2011
That question can only be answered by a professional who knows your complete tax picture.
There is a personal exemption of $250.,000 for one person, for husband and wife, $500,000, however, how the values are computed should be reviewed (improvements you have made over the years).

Talk with a tax professional for tax advice.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Tue Nov 8, 2011
If it is your principal residence, probably nothing.
You need to ask a Tax Professional; we make it a rule not to give LEGAL or TAX advice.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Tue Nov 8, 2011
Hi Bigeating,

Why would you have to pay the state/government? If you're talking about capital gains, it would be best to consult an accountant.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more