A home seller who is a single taxpayer has the opportunity to owe no tax on the first $250,000 of profit for the sale of a home owned and lived in for two of the last five years. A married couple owes no taxes on the first $500,000 of profit for the same time period. Homeowners reap annual tax benefits from the deductions allowed for mortgage interest and itemizing, which is usually more beneficial than taking the standard deduction. When a main residence is sold after the death of a spouse, it must be sold within two years of the death date of death for the surviving spouse to claim the $500,000 exclusion.
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