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Do You Qualify For A Principle Residence Exclusion On The Sale Of Your Home?

Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 121 provides an exclusion from gross income for gain from the sale or exchange of property if, during the five year period ending on the date of the sale or exchange, such property has been owned and used by the taxpayer as the taxpayer's principal residence for at least two years. IRC § 121(a).

Under the current tax laws, the amount of the exclusion is $250,000, unless a husband and wife file a joint return for the taxable year of the sale, in which case the exclusion is $500,000, if the husband and wife meet the following requirements:
(i) either spouse meets the ownership requirements of subsection (a) with respect to such property;
(ii) both spouses meet the use requirements of subsection (a) with respect to such property; and
(iii) neither spouse is ineligible for the benefits of subsection (a) with respect to such property by reason of previously using the exclusion within the previous two years.
IRC § 121(b).

The exclusion applies, with regard to a joint return, if either spouse meets the ownership and use requirements with respect to such property. IRC § 121(d)(1). An individual will also be treated as using property as such individual's principal residence during any period of ownership while such individual's spouse or former spouse is granted use under a divorce decree. IRC § 121(d)(3).

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