Full home sale exclusion for surviving spouse

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in Small Business Tax

Q. My husband passed away 1½ years ago. Can I still claim the joint home sale exclusion if I roll over funds into another place? M.C., Rye, N.Y.

A. Yes. The full $500,000 home sale exclusion (which is reduced to $250,000 for single filers) is still available for up to two years after the death of a spouse. But both spouses must meet the requirements of use and ownership of the home as a principal residence for at least two out of the five previous years. Also, a surviving spouse can’t remarry before the sale.

Tip: You don’t have to “roll over” funds into another home. The rollover requirement was eliminated years ago.

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