ReSET Blog
Blog · March 23, 2022 · AUTHOR: Udi Dorner

What You Need to Know About Taxes On Selling a Home

Congratulations on selling your house! Now it’s tax season, though, and as you try to identify which of the numerous available forms you need to submit to the IRS, there are a number of questions you have to ask yourself:

  • What are the taxes and tax limits?
  • Do I pay tax when I sell my house?
  • Am I eligible for any tax deductions?
  • And the most important question of all: Am I doing this right?

While taxes on selling a house can be a very complex issue, we’ll lay out the basic principles so you have a foundation to start from. We'll also include some important things you need to know, regarding taxes on selling a house.

The Basic Tax Breakdown

Turbotax presents all this information very clearly, but here are the straightforward facts to answer the question “Do you pay taxes when you sell a house?"

do i pay tax when i sell my house

  • Most of the time, the profit from selling your house is tax-free and does not need to be reported.
  • If you lived on your own in the same place for two to five years prior to the sale, $250,000 of your profit is tax-free.
  • Couples who file joint tax returns and live there for that same amount of time are eligible for $500,000 of their profits to be written off as tax-free.
  • Anything greater than that $250,000 or $500,000 threshold is reported as a capital gain on your taxes.

The three major points to take away from the above facts regarding taxes on selling a house are that you need to have owned the house for at least two full years, the home you are selling is your primary residence, and you have not received but excluded a gain on another home in the last two years.

Here’s What You Can’t Claim on Your Taxes on Selling a Home

Forbes Magazine helps make sure you know what you can and can’t claim on your taxes when you’re getting ready to move:

  • Expenses relating to improving your house before the move-NOT DEDUCTIBLE
  • Moving expenses-NOT DEDUCTIBLE
  • Capital losses on your homes-NOT DEDUCTIBLE

It also doesn't matter if you sell your house in the best month of the market, or the worst month of the market; your tax rates will depend on the value of the house, and not on the time of the sale. It is important to understand this when you are considering the taxes on selling a home.

Special Circumstances

Not all moving cases are cookie cutter, and the IRS knows that. This makes answering the question “Do you pay taxes when you sell a house?” that much more complicated. There are a number of criteria that may make you eligible for different benefits. 

do you pay taxes when you sell a house 

If you are divorced, widowed, have had short term absences during your period of residence, or are a member of the military, intelligence, or foreign services, there are different requirements and classifications. It is therefore best to check with your realtor or accountant when you file taxes on selling your home. The requirements for capital gains reporting, as well, can seem very muddled, as there are many different categories that determine whether you must report your capital gains on your next tax return. This is a critical issue on which you should consult with a real estate tax professional before filing your tax returns in the following year. A real estate tax professional can help you fully and thoroughly answer your questions regarding taxes when selling a house. When it comes to filing taxes, according to TaxAct, be prepared to be presented with the form 1099-S, usually handed out by real estate industry professionals. You will need to fill that out to report the sale of your home, even if you do not need to pay taxes on the gain. You will also need to fill out Form 8822, to register your change of address with the IRS.

SetValue Can Help

There are a lot of complicated tax issues when it comes to selling your house. In your home selling process, you should make sure to find a qualified team to work with that will make the process smooth and easy for you as the homeowner, because the goal of any successful real estate transaction is for both the buyer and the seller to leave satisfied. Now, working with a local agent is the best way to get a grasp of your situation - by submitting a quick form on SetValue you can get connected with the most responsive and knowledgeable real estate professional in your area of interest. They'll be familiar with the entire process of selling houses from beginning to end, and they will sort out the tax details in order to make the process less stressful for you. SetValue is revolutionizing the process of selling homes fast. Working with us guarantees you a smooth transition to wherever your next move takes you.

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  • Art Flores says:
    Yes, it's the same. Cash or on a loan home sale is not taxable. As long as it does not go over the $250K for a single person or $500k for a married joint return.
  • Marcus Coons says:
    I had no idea that you do not need to report the profits you get from selling a house. It is important to remember that understanding all you can about how the house selling process works can help you get the best prices you can find. A friend of mine was talking about how he wanted to sell his old house for cash, do you know if doing it this way works the same?
  • B Morse says:
    Valid considerations for home sellers to consider.

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