My client bought his home a few years ago. Now he wants to sell it and take advantage of the tax exclusion of up to $250,000 on the proceeds. What criteria does he have to meet to qualify for the tax exclusion?

The IRS allows a seller to exclude from his taxable income a gain of up to $250,000 on the sale of his home (or $500,000 if he is married filing jointly) if he:

  1. owned the home and used it as his principal residence during at least two of the last five years before the sale
  2. didn’t acquire the home through a 1031 exchange during the past five years
  3. didn’t exclude a gain on another home sold during the two years before the current sale.