Agent

Time heals real estate tax dilemma

Marriage won't instantly increase $250,000 tax exemption
Published on Dec 6, 2004

DEAR BOB: Since my divorce about 16 years ago, I've lived in my home alone. During that time, my home has greatly appreciated in market value. If I sell it today, my capital gain will be around $400,000. But, as a single person, I would only be entitled to a $250,000 tax exemption and would have to pay capital gain tax on about $150,000. For the last few months, my "significant other" has been living with me. If we get married, will I then become entitled to the $500,000 home-sale tax exemption for a married couple? – Edward F. DEAR EDWARD: No. But you certainly have a creative tax mind. Internal Revenue Code 121 provides a principal residence sale tax exemption up to $250,000 for each qualified home seller. To qualify, you must have owned and occupied your principal residence an "aggregate" two of the five years before its sale. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. For a husband and wife, only one spouse's name need be on the title. However, to qualify for up to $500,000 of pri...

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