Buy, Sell or Rent – Licensed in the State of Texas #0573826

Text/Call 512-695-0717

Capital Gains Tax

If you sold your primary home and made a profit, you may be able to exclude that profit from your taxable income. Here’s how it works.

$250,000 Exclusion on the Sale of a Main Home

Individuals can exclude up to $250,000 in profit from the sale of a main home (or $500,000 for a married couple) as long as you have owned the home and lived in the home for a minimum of two years. Those two years do not need to be consecutive. In the 5 years prior to the sale of the house, you need to have lived in the house for at least 24 months. In other words, the home must have been your principal residence.

You can use this 2-out-of-5 year rule to exclude your profits each time you sell or exchange your main home. Generally, you can claim the exclusion only once every two years. Some exceptions do apply.

If you lived in your home less than 24 months, you may be able to exclude a portion of the gain. Exceptions are allowed if you sold your house because the location of your job changed, because of health concerns, or for some other unforeseen circumstance.

Partial Exclusion

You can exclude a portion of your gain if you are selling your home and lived there less than 2 years and you meet one of the three exceptions. You calculate your partial exclusion based on the amount of time you actually lived in your home.

Count the number of months you actually lived in your home. Then divide that number by 24. Then multiply this ratio by $250,000 (if unmarried) or by $500,000 (if married). The result is the amount of gain you can exclude from your taxable income.

For example: you lived in your home for 12 months, and then sold the home because your employer asked you to relocate to a different office. You are an unmarried person. You calculate your partial exclusion: 12 months divided by 24 month (for a ratio of .50) times your maximum exclusion of $250,000. The result: you can exclude up to $125,000 in gain. If your gain is more than $125,000, you include only the amount over $125,000 as taxable income. If your gain is less than $125,000, then your gain can be excluded from your taxable income.

Detailed information can found in IRS Publication 523.