Unmarried couple seeks $500,000 home-sale tax deduction

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DEAR BOB: For the last 24 years I have been living in my boyfriend's house. We use our separate names. He treats me very well. We have two great grown kids together. But we are not married, nor do we want to be for several reasons. The house is held in his name. It has appreciated about $400,000 in market value since his purchase years ago. After he was forced to "retire" from his airline job last year, we decided to sell the house and move to a less expensive area where we can live very comfortably on our old-age, limited income. The obvious issue is when the house sells, will it qualify for a $250,000 or $500,000 income tax exemption? – Brenda H. DEAR BRENDA: I think you already know the answer. To qualify for Internal Revenue Code 121, the principal residence sale tax exemption up to $250,000 (up to $500,000 for a married couple filing a joint tax return), the home must be owned and occupied at least 24 of the 60 months before its sale by the seller. Purchase Bob Bruss report...