Homeowners attempt home-sale tax break through son

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DEAR BOB: About four years ago, my wife and I bought a three-bedroom house for our son to occupy while he was attending college. Although he was only 18 at the time, it was a great learning experience for him to become a landlord. He always had three or four "tenants" living in the house with him and paying rent. On top of the mortgage, insurance, property taxes and other expenses, he managed to clear $700 to $1,200 per month net income. Meanwhile, the house went up in market value by at least $150,000. We're almost sorry to see him graduate and move on to a "real job" out of town as an accountant with a "big six" firm. Can we claim that $250,000 principal-residence-sale tax exemption even though title was in our names and we didn't occupy the house but our son did? – Ned W. DEAR NED: No. Sorry, you lose out on the $250,000 principal-residence-sale tax exemption of Internal Revenue Code 121. Although your son met the 24-out-of-last-60-months-before-sale occupancy test, because h...