Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Housing Bill: Change to Home Sale Tax Exclusion Rule

by Bill McBride on 7/30/2008 09:16:00 PM

A little mentioned provision in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 amends the Home Sale Exclusion Rules.

I've copied the main portion of the provision at the bottom.

This applies to homeowners that move into a nonqualifed residence (that they already own) like a vacation home or rental unit. Here was the old rule from the IRS:

To exclude gain, a taxpayer must both own and use the home as a principal residence for two of the five years before the sale. The ownership and use periods need not be concurrent.
Under the new rule, the owner only gets a percentage of the exclusion based on a ratio of how long the property is their primary residence divided by how long they owned the property. This prevents people from moving into vacation homes or rental units for two years and then obtaining the entire exclusion. Here is an excerpt (see the bill for the entire text):
SEC. 3092. GAIN FROM SALE OF PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE ALLOCATED TO NONQUALIFIED USE NOT EXCLUDED FROM INCOME.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Subsection (b) of section 121 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to limitations) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(4) EXCLUSION OF GAIN ALLOCATED TO NONQUALIFIED USE.
(A) IN GENERAL.—Subsection (a) shall not apply to so much of the gain from the sale or exchange of property as is allocated to periods of nonqualified use.
(B) GAIN ALLOCATED TO PERIODS OF NONQUALIFIED USE.—For purposes of subparagraph (A), gain shall be allocated to periods of nonqualified use based on the ratio which—
(i) the aggregate periods of nonqualified use during the period such property was owned by the taxpayer, bears to
(ii) the period such property was owned by the taxpayer.
(C) PERIOD OF NONQUALIFIED USE.
For purposes of this paragraph
(i) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘period of nonqualified use’ means any period (other than the portion of any period preceding January 1, 2009) during which the property is not used as the principal residence of the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse or former spouse.
...
EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment made by this section shall apply to sales and exchanges after December 31, 2008.
Just another interesting provision.

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