Real estate ownership doesn’t guarantee tax break

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

DEAR BOB: About nine years ago, my parents helped me buy my first home, a condominium. All three of us took title as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Due to a superb location and great management, it turned out to be an outstanding investment. I got married about five years ago and moved into a house with my bride. My parents moved into the condo. Mom died in 2002. Dad still lives there. He and I have decided to sell the condo to pay for his care in an assisted-living residence. The net profit will be around $400,000. Because he owned and occupied the condo 24 of the 60 months before its sale, he qualifies for the $250,000 principal residence sale tax exemption. However, my tax adviser says I can't qualify because I don't meet the occupancy test. Do you agree or disagree? --Troy W. DEAR TROY: Your tax adviser is correct. Internal Revenue Code 121 says that to qualify for the principal residence sale tax exemption up to $250,000 per owner, you must own and occupy it at least 24...