The Federal Tax Code has significantly improved the American taxpayer’s ability to profit by selling a principal residence.  Prior to 1997, homeowners could take advantage of a tax benefit termed the “rollover”, which granted exemption from capital gains taxes on the net profit from the sale of a home.  Homeowners who used profits to purchase a bigger and better home did not have to pay tax.  And homeowners over the age of 55 were given a once-in-a-lifetime exclusion from taxes on profits of up to $125,000 on the sale of their principal residence.

Compare those tax breaks with our current, streamlined, and potentially more profitable arrangement that replaced both the rollover and the one-time exemption.  If you are a married home-seller filing jointly, you may enjoy up to $500,000 in tax-free home sale profits, provided you have occupied the property as your principal residence during two of the last five years.  Taxpayers who file singly get a $250,000 capital gains exclusion.  Homeowners are eligible to exclude capital gains on the sale of a principal residence as often as once every two years.

The law allows capital gain exclusions whether you “buy up” to a more expensive home or “buy down” to a less expensive one.  The tax-free dollars can be used in any way you want.  Consult your tax advisor for detailed advice about your particular circumstance.

This information originated from The Barb Bottitta Team of Lehigh Valley Home Experts.  If you have questions regarding tax rewards you may be eligible for, please contact us or leave a comment below.


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