Widow’s trouble with $500K home-sale tax break

Home must be sold within a set amount of time

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DEAR BOB: I bought my home 13 years ago. Ten years ago I was married, but I never added my husband's name to the title. He died recently. I was told I have one year from his date of death to sell my house and get the $500,000 principal-residence-sale tax exemption. I will file a joint tax return for 2006 as we did every year since 1997. Can I claim the $500,000 exemption? --Nancy E. DEAR NANCY: Did your husband die in 2006 or 2007? The answer makes a big tax difference for you. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Because you never added your husband's name to your home title, you inherited nothing from him since he didn't own half of the house. Therefore, you didn't receive the stepped-up-basis-to-market-value benefit when inheriting the property. If your husband died in 2006, your entitlement to the $500,000 principal-residence-sale tax exemption of Internal Revenue Code 121 expired on Dec. 31, 2006. The person who said you have up to 12 months from the date of death to ...