Under numerous and diverse circumstances, an individual may be forced to sell his home. Depending on how much the home is worth, more or less of the property’s buying price is made from the sale. One main thing that the seller needs to know is that there must be a debt settlement where one has to settle any existing secure debts, e.g., mortgage debts. In a case where a real estate agent was used in the process of selling the property, he must be paid in accordance with the agreement made between the two parties. Selling a home also requires one to settle other debts including money judgment as well as unsecured creditor liens. Apart from settling such debts, one is also required to pay capital gains tax. This is because it is almost inevitable to avoid paying taxes especially when such properties like a home are put on the market. However, you need to know of the best way to avoid taxes when selling their home. These ways will be the key focus of this article.
What Is Capital Gains Tax?
Capital gains tax refers to the fee that is remunerated to the régime from the sale of a home or even any other valuable property especially when the sale value surpasses the buying price of the property. For example, if an individual bought a house at $150000 and then sells it at $350000, he will be required to pay to the government certain percentage of capital gains tax from the $200000 profit or capital gains. Nonetheless, the amount of capital gains tax paid largely depends on the length of time that one lived in the house. Exempts in primary residence from capital gains tax can be made to an individual who has owned the house for a minimum of two of the five years before selling it. And also, if the home was the individual’s primary residence for a minimum of two years of the five years and if the individual has not taken any capital gains from the sale of other properties in the last two years before the present sale.
Take At Least 5 Years after Buying a Home before Putting It into the Market
To go around the nagging capital gain tax when selling a home or any other valuable property, making sure that you make the home your primary residence and then spending at least two of the five years in the house is essential. For example, if one is so desperate to move from the home after staying in it for about 2.5 years, the individual can then rent the house for the remaining 2.5 years to reach the five years threshold where one is eligible to capital gains tax exemption.
Make Plans to Sell the Property after Experiencing Capital Losses
A season when an individual is producing less income than usual makes the best time to sell a property because it would be easy to take advantage of personal income tax rate factor which in such a case would be reduced. For example, if an individual’s spouse leaves her job to pursue studies, the combined incomes of the two would reduce as compared to the period before the resignation of the spouse. However, after the resignation, the household’s tax bracket is lowered. Thus, fewer taxes would be imposed on the sale of any property during such a time.
Keeping Track Of Home Improvements and Selling Expenses
Any improvement that was made in the house should be recorded, and the receipts kept to have evidence to back up the improvements claim. You should not miss out when it comes to laying a claim of the values added to the house when living in it. Keeping track of the upgrades and the home improvements made is very necessary since the amount spent should always reflect on the eventual price basis. Therefore, keeping track of your home improvements as well as keeping track of your selling expenses is crucial before putting a property for sale.
Reinvest In a Property
Various forms of investments can be made on a property before it is sold. For example, a home can be rented to raise money to cater for a mortgage while residing in a different location. However, exempting from the capital gain tax would need you to rent the property for a maximum of three years. Otherwise, it would be considered as an investment property
Estate Planning and Capital Gains Tax
Beneficiaries of property are exempted from paying income tax for the property inherited. However, if they have to sell the assets they inherited, they will have to pay the capital gains tax usually premised on a tax basis. The element of step-up basis is always a problem in such a case. However, putting in place the right estate planning strategies such as undoing a trust placed on assets and then putting the same assets back to the estate largely reduces the burden of capital gains tax.