Ask Bob: Home Sales and Avoiding Capital Gains Tax

Robert Powell, CFP®

Question: I read somewhere that in California If you are a senior and want to downsize by selling your house to move to a condo, you don't pay capital gains. Is it so?

Answer: When you sell a personal residence that you've lived in for at least two of the last five years in any state, $250,000 of gain is excludable from taxable income if you are single or $500,000 is excludable for a married couple, says Brooke Salvini, CPA/PFS, member of the American Institute of CPAs' Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee.

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