Maximize Your Profits: Tax Strategies for Home Sellers

Gretchen Tipps

Selling your home in 2024? The IRS might offer tax benefits! You may avoid paying capital gains tax on the sale of your primary residence, but you need to meet certain ownership and usage criteria:

  • Owned the home for at least 2 years
  • Lived there at least 2 of the last 5 years

The available tax gain exclusion is $250,000 for singles or $500,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Selling at a loss? 

No deduction due to government-subsidized homeownership benefits, likely because of the many homeownership benefits subsidized by the government, including low-income and first-time homebuyer grants, loan programs, energy star appliance credits, and more. Tax exclusions are also subsidized by the government.

Maximize your gains, minimize your taxes

Purchase price + closing costs + settlement fees = your home's basis

Your basis will increase with major improvements (roof, HVAC, addition); it will decrease with casualty losses (fire, water damage). A higher basis = lower capital gains.

This is not tax advice. Consult a tax professional for personalized guidance.

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