Ask the tax adviser
Taxes on second home sales
Dear Tax Talk:
Do you have to hold on to a second home for two years to roll over
capital gains? Secondly, do you have to be age 55 to take your one-time
deduction of $500,000 from capital gains on your primary residence?
What is the correct amount for married and for single home sellers?
A second home does not qualify for rollover (actually a permanent
exclusion from income under current law) of capital gains. The exclusion
only applies to your primary home, so the amount of time you hold
the second home is irrelevant since you have to pay tax on any gain.
An exception to this would be if you occupy the second
home as your primary home for a period of two years. You could then
sell the second home and qualify for the exclusion. The age 55 rule
also went with the change in the rollover of capital gains rule.
Everyone at any age qualifies for the current $250,000 capital gains
exclusion on the sale of their primary home -- provided they owned
and lived in the home for two of the last five years. In the case
of a married couple filing a joint return, the exclusion is $500,000.
IRA and home purchase rules
Dear Tax Talk:
My wife and I have a traditional individual retirement account.
We bought a home, and the closing was done 12 days ago. As per Internal
Revenue Service definition, we are first-time home buyers. We still
have some money left with us after the closing. Now, can we withdraw
money from our IRA penalty-free as first-time home buyers? The question
here is, the closing is done, we didn't need money from the IRA
to buy the home, and also we don't have any more settlement costs.
Can we withdraw the IRA penalty-free now? We would like to have
some more money with us, so that's why we're thinking of withdrawing
IRA money. Please advise. We would appreciate you help.
You can withdraw up to $10,000 from an IRA penalty-free for the
qualified acquisition costs of a residence of a first-time home
buyer. A first-time home buyer is basically anyone who did not own
a principal within the last two years. You have up to 120 days following
the withdrawal to use the money for qualified acquisition costs.
Qualified acquisition costs are the costs of acquiring, constructing
or reconstructing a residence.
Since you didn't withdraw the money prior to closing,
a subsequent withdrawal will not be considered as used for qualified