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helenmp99
New Member

We got married in 2017 and we are both selling our prior residences in 2018. Does it matter if we file jointly or separately to both get the 250k cap gains deduction?

I got married in mid-2017 and both my husband and I owned houses that we are getting ready to sell. We will probably both sell them in 2018. We each lived in our individual houses all of the last 5 years (except for 1year), so individually we meet the ownership and residency requirement. I've read that we can each claim up to 250k capital gains deduction when we sell. Do we need to file separately to do so, or are we able to claim both houses on a joint return? If we have to file separately, would there be any issue with filing jointly for our 2017 taxes and then filing separately on our 2018 taxes? Can we switch filing strategies? 

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Accepted Solutions
Hal_Al
Level 15

We got married in 2017 and we are both selling our prior residences in 2018. Does it matter if we file jointly or separately to both get the 250k cap gains deduction?

You may both claim, up to $250,000 exclusion on a Married Filing Jointly (MFJ). There is no need to file separately. Your situation is common enough that is covered by the rules.

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3 Replies
Hal_Al
Level 15

We got married in 2017 and we are both selling our prior residences in 2018. Does it matter if we file jointly or separately to both get the 250k cap gains deduction?

You may both claim, up to $250,000 exclusion on a Married Filing Jointly (MFJ). There is no need to file separately. Your situation is common enough that is covered by the rules.

helenmp99
New Member

We got married in 2017 and we are both selling our prior residences in 2018. Does it matter if we file jointly or separately to both get the 250k cap gains deduction?

Thank you for the quick response!
Zbucklyo
Level 9

We got married in 2017 and we are both selling our prior residences in 2018. Does it matter if we file jointly or separately to both get the 250k cap gains deduction?

Be aware that the proposed tax law changes the residency requirement to five of the last eight years, presumably starting for residences sold in2018.
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