There is no general one time exclusion of $250,000 worth of Capital Gains income. However, some taxpayers qualify for an exclusion of this amount related to the sale of their primary residence.
In order to qualify for the $250,000 gain exclusion related to the sale of your main home, you must meet the requirements of the following three tests:
- Ownership: You must have owned the home for at least two years (730 days or 24 full months) during the five years prior to the date of your sale. It doesn't have to be continuous, nor does it have to be the two years immediately preceding the sale. If you lived in a house for a decade as your primary residence, then rented it out for two years prior to the sale, for example, you would still qualify under this test.
- Use: You must have used the home you are selling as your principal residence for at least two of the five years prior to the date of sale.
- Timing: You have not excluded the gain on the sale of another home within two years prior to this sale.
If you're married and want to use the $500,000 exclusion:
- You must file a joint return.
- At least one spouse must meet the ownership requirement, and both you and your spouse must have lived in the house for two of the five years leading up to the sale.
There are some exceptions to these rules. For more information, please see this TurboTax Guide.
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