Couple aims to pull off multiple home-sale tax breaks

Can three transactions be completed by 2010?

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DEAR BOB: We own three houses; one is a rental. We have owned house number one, our primary residence, for 18 years. We want to sell it in 2006 to get the $500,000 tax credit. House number two has been owned for two years. We moved in during 2005 and want to sell it in 2008 to take the $500,000 tax credit. House number three, the rental, will be our last move if we can sell it in 2010 for the $500,000 tax credit. Can this be done? --Lil H. DEAR LIL: Yes. To qualify for the Internal Revenue Code 121 principal residence sale tax exemption (NOT a tax credit; there's a BIG tax difference) up to $500,000 for a qualified married couple filing a joint tax return (up to $250,000 for a single homeowner), you must own and occupy your primary residence at least 24 of the 60 months before its sale. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. I presume you meet the occupancy test for house number one, so you can sell it in 2006 and claim up to $500,000 principal residence sale tax-free profits. As for hous...