Can purchasing replacement property avoid home-sale tax?

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DEAR BOB: My home of 30 years has become too large for me to maintain. I would like to purchase a two-family duplex so I can have some rental income for my retirement years. I have been told it is possible to avoid the huge tax on the sale of my home by purchasing a building of equal value. But if I pay the sale tax, I cannot afford to buy a duplex. I am a senior citizen and need to supplement my income. Please clear this up for me --Natalie M. DEAR NATALIE: If you are a single principal-residence seller, you qualify for up to $250,000 tax-free capital gains. Internal Revenue Code 121 requires you to have owned and occupied your principal residence at least 24 of the 60 months before its sale. If you are married and your spouse also meets the 24-month occupancy test, then you qualify for up to $500,000 tax-free principal-residence sale profits. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. But your plan to buy a duplex with the sales proceeds is irrelevant. If you own your home free and clear, or...