If your primary residence was either a rental or you took a home office deduction a some point prior to selling, you will need to recognize a capital gain on the recapture of prior depreciation expenses. If it was not used for either purpose in the past and you are claiming the home gain exclusion, then you will not need to report this sale on your tax return.
According to the IRS, you sell a property that was used as a rental or was used as a home office, you must pay 25 percent recapture tax (also referred to as Section 1250 recapture) as well as regular state income tax on the depreciation you claimed. (Remember the IRS will assume that you claimed the correct amount of depreciation every year—this is true regardless of whether you actually claimed any depreciation on your tax return).
See Sale of Your Home for more information on the exclusion.
You do not need to enter the sale of your primary residence if:
- You never used your primary residence as a rental or took a home office deduction
- You have a loss on the sale of your home (Personal capital losses are not reported on your tax return)
- You did not receive a Form 1099-S and
- You meet the home gain exclusion (see below)
You can take the gain exclusion as long as you considered the home your "primary residence" for 2 of the last 5 years. If you have a capital gain from the sale of your main home, you may qualify to exclude up to $250,000 of that gain from your income. You may qualify to exclude up to $500,000 of that gain if you file a joint return with your spouse. See Sale of Your Home for more information on the exclusion.
If you still need to enter your sale of your primary residence (which may require an upgrade in TurboTax), please follow these steps:
- Once you are in your tax return (for TurboTax Online sign-in, click Here), click on the “Federal Taxes” tab ("Personal" tab in TurboTax Home & Business)
- Next click on “Wages & Income” ("Personal Income" in TurboTax Home & Business)
- Next click on “I’ll choose what I work on”
- Scroll down the screen until to come to the section “Less Common Income”
- Choose “Sale of Home (gain or loss)” and select “start’
- You will want to use the "Easy Guide" to determine the adjusted basis on this home
Say "yes" that you sold your main home and TurboTax will guide you on entering this information. You will need:
- The date you sold your home and the selling price (from your closing statement)
- The date you bought your home and the purchase price (from your closing statement)
- The cost of any major improvements you made, so we can deduct them for you
- Form 1099-C if you sold your home at a loss (short sale)
Just remember to check the box to have your home sale reported on your tax return but ONLY if you receive a 1099-S