Paying sales commission helps home seller at tax time

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DEAR BOB: I bought my home for about $250,000 and can now sell it for $600,000. After the tax-free $250,000 principal residence sale tax exemption, I will have exposure to about $100,000 taxable capital gains. What is the current percentage tax rate on capital gains? Can it be offset by the capital improvements I added? Also, should I ask my buyer to pay the sales commission to lower my asking price and reduce my capital gains? – Morgan G. DEAR MORGAN: The federal capital gains tax rate is currently 15 percent maximum. In addition, don't forget any applicable state tax. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. You should add the cost of capital improvements you made to your purchase price. To illustrate, if you paid $250,000 for the house, and you made $50,000 of capital improvements, your adjusted cost basis is therefore $300,000. If you ask your buyer to pay the sales commission, you will be at a severe disadvantage compared to other home-sale listings. The sales commission you ...