When you sell your principal residence, you can exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers) of gain if you meet certain tests. Gain that qualifies for exclusion also is excluded from the new 3.8% Medicare contribution tax.
Losses on the sale of your home aren’t deductible. But if part of it is rented or used exclusively for your business, the loss attributable to that portion is deductible, subject to various limitations.
Because a second home is ineligible for the gain exclusion, consider converting it to rental use before selling. It can be considered a business asset, and you may be able to defer tax on any gains through an installment sale or a Section 1031 exchange. Or you may be able to deduct a loss, but only to the extent attributable to a decline in value after the conversion.
If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, please contact us to learn more about the potential tax consequences of a sale.