Submitted By: Frank
Answered: August 31, 2015 12:12 pm

I sold my home that had been on the market for five years. I used it occasionally during the time. Can I take the home sale exclusion?

It’s time to look at a calendar to see whether you meet the time test for the home sale exclusion. You must have owned and used the home as your principal residence for at least two of the five years preceding the date of sale. This is not based on a calendar year; you can count up days.

Obviously, you owned the home for the requisite period, but you have to see whether you also used it as your primary home for at least two years. If another residence is your primary home and you spent time in the one you sold, those days don’t count; only the days it was used as a principal residence are taken into account.

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Tax Glossary

Probate estate

Property held in a decedent’s name passing by will.

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