Homeowners avoid tax on $1 million capital gain

Without records of improvements, IRS audit could bring trouble

DEAR BENNY: Friends of mine recently sold their home they owned for 22 years for $1.5 million; they paid about $500,000. They told me that they did not have to pay any capital gains tax, because their tax advisor claimed that they must have spent at least $1 million on improvements over the 20 years they owned it, although they did not have any records. He told them that it was within IRS guidelines, and their tax return was accepted without any problems.