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Do I have to pay taxes on my home sale?

You should receive a Form 1099-S, Proceeds From Real Estate Transactions, to report the sale or exchange of real estate. 

Go to this section in Credit Karma Tax: I Sold My Home

Although gains from selling your home can be considered income, you may not have to pay federal income taxes on some or all of these gains. Your home sale may qualify to exclude the first $250,000 in gains ($500,000 for married filing jointly) from your income if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You owned the house for at least two of the five years immediately preceding the sale (date of the closing). For a married couple filing a joint return, only one of the spouses needs to meet this requirement.
  • You used the house as your primary residence for at least two of the five years immediately preceding the sale. This does not have to be one uninterrupted period of time as long as you meet the required 24 months of residence during the five year period. For a married couple filing a joint return, each spouse must meet this requirement. There are exceptions to this rule, for example:
    • If you became physically or mentally unable to care for yourself, you only need to show that your home was your residence for 12 months in the 5 years before the sale.
    • Any time you spent living in a care facility, such as a nursing home, counts towards your residence requirement if the facility is licensed to care for people with your condition.
  • You bought the home and didn’t acquire it through a like-kind exchange in the past five years.
  • You haven’t already claimed the exclusion for a home sale occurring in the two years prior to the date of your current home sale.

There are some exceptions to the above eligibility requirements for extenuating circumstances, including divorce, the death of a spouse, casualty-related issues with a home or military service.

For example, a single individual who meets these qualifications and has $200,000 in gains from the sale of a home would not be required to pay taxes on that amount. However, if the gain was $300,000 then $50,000 would be taxable.
Source: irs.gov

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