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Homeowner Tax Exemptions: Understanding Section 121 and Its Impact on Your Taxes

Real Estate SOS

2 min read

Dec 17, 2018

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If you’re a homeowner in the United States, you’re in for some good news. Did you know that you might be eligible for a significant tax break when you sell your primary residence?


That’s right—thanks to the Section 121 exclusion, detailed in the Internal Revenue Code, you could save big on capital gains tax under the right conditions.





Let’s walk through the ins and outs of the exemption:

  1. Exemption Amounts: Single filers can exclude up to $250,000 of capital gains from their income, while married couples filing jointly can exclude up to $500,000.

  2. Ownership and Use Tests: To qualify for the exemption, the seller must have owned and used the home as their principal residence for at least two out of the five years immediately preceding the sale. These two years do not need to be consecutive.

  3. Frequency Limit: This tax benefit can only be used once every two years. This means you can’t claim the exclusion for another property within two years of using it for your previous property.

  4. Partial Exclusion: If you don’t meet the full ownership and use tests due to specific circumstances (like a job relocation, health issues, or unforeseen events), you might still be eligible for a reduced exclusion.

  5. Reporting: If the gain from the sale is less than the exclusion limit and you meet the ownership and use tests, you typically don’t have to report the sale on your tax return. However, if the gain exceeds the exemption amount, or if you’re not entitled to claim the full exemption, then you must report the sale and potentially pay taxes on the excess gain.

  6. Exceptions and Special Rules: There are exceptions and special rules that can apply, such as for divorces, deaths, or sales involving a portion of the property. These can affect the exemption.


It’s important to keep accurate records of your home purchase, improvements, and sale to correctly calculate your gain and any taxable amount. Also, considering the specifics and potential complexity of tax laws, consulting a tax professional for personal advice and the most current information is advisable.



#taxemption #section121 #Homeowner #taxes #financialliteracy

Real Estate SOS

2 min read

Dec 17, 2018

5

0

0

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