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SEO Meta Description: Learn how to accurately calculate capital gains on the sale of your house in the US. This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions and answers common questions.


Selling a house can be an exciting but complex process, especially when it comes to calculating capital gains. Understanding how to calculate capital gains on the sale of a house is crucial for homeowners in the US. In this guide, we will break down the process into simple steps, ensuring you can accurately determine your capital gains and comply with tax regulations.

Understanding Capital Gains

Before delving into the calculations, it's important to grasp the concept of capital gains. Capital gains occur when you sell an asset, such as a house, for more than its original purchase price. The difference between the selling price and the purchase price is considered a capital gain.

Step-by-Step Guide to Calculating Capital Gains

To calculate capital gains on the sale of a house in the US, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the original purchase price: Begin by identifying the original purchase price of your house, including any additional costs such as closing fees, legal fees, or transfer taxes. This forms the basis for your cost basis
Your basis in your home is what you paid for it, plus closing costs and non-decorative investments you made in the property, like a new roof. You can also add sales expenses like real estate agent fees to your basis. Subtract that from the sale price and you get the capital gains.

How do I avoid capital gains on sale of primary residence?

Home sales can be tax free as long as the condition of the sale meets certain criteria: The seller must have owned the home and used it as their principal residence for two out of the last five years (up to the date of closing). The two years do not have to be consecutive to qualify.

What is the 2023 capital gains tax rate?

For the 2023 tax year, individual filers won't pay any capital gains tax if their total taxable income is $44,625 or less. The rate jumps to 15 percent on capital gains, if their income is $44,626 to $492,300. Above that income level the rate climbs to 20 percent.

How long do you have to reinvest money from sale of primary residence?

Under the IRS Section 1031, if you reinvest your gains into a 'like-kind' property within 180 days of the sale, you may qualify for a deferral on capital gains tax.

What expenses can be deducted from capital gains tax?

If you sell your home, you can lower your taxable capital gain by the amount of your selling costs—including real estate agent commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising costs, administrative costs, escrow fees, and inspection fees.

What is the $250000 / $500,000 home sale exclusion?

There is an exclusion on capital gains up to $250,000, or $500,000 for married taxpayers, on the gain from the sale of your main home. That exclusion is available to all qualifying taxpayers—no matter your age—who have owned and lived in their home for two of the five years before the sale.

How do i you calculate capital gains on the sale of your house

Jul 7, 2023 — It is calculated by subtracting the asset's original cost or purchase price (the “tax basis”), plus any expenses incurred, from the final sale 

Frequently Asked Questions

How are capital gains determined on a home sale?

The capital gains tax on your home sale depends on how much profit you make from the sale of your home. Profit is generally defined as the difference between how much you paid for the home and how much you sold it for.

Do I have to buy another house to avoid capital gains?

You might be able to defer capital gains by buying another home. As long as you sell your first investment property and apply your profits to the purchase of a new investment property within 180 days, you can defer taxes. You might have to place your funds in an escrow account to qualify.

How to calculate capital gain on house sale

Subtract that from the sale price and you get the capital gains. When you sell your primary residence, $250,000 of capital gains (or $500,000 for a couple) are 


What is unethical conduct in real estate?
Taking liberties with legal documents. Little white lies on legal paperwork can have devastating consequences. One example of unethical Realtor behavior is tweaking contracts to decrease the purchase price by allocating a portion of this price to personal property rather than a home.
How do I report a real estate agent in Illinois?
How to file a complaint
  1. Fill out the online form below. It will be reviewed typically within one business day.
  2. Call Illinois REALTORS®. The Ethics Citation Hotline can be reached at 217-529-2600 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. ( Closed major holidays)
What happens when a REALTOR makes a mistake?
If this happens you may have legal options available to you. Misrepresentation, dishonesty, or some other type of failure on the part of a real estate agent can be grounds for filing a small claims lawsuit. Other legal options include filing a complaint with the appropriate state licensing agency.

How to calculate capital gains on sale of house

What is the exclusion of gain on the sale of a home? If you have a capital gain from the sale of your main home, you may qualify to exclude up to $250,000 of that gain from your income, or up to $500,000 of that gain if you file a joint return with your spouse.
What is the capital gains rate for 2023? Long-Term Capital Gains Tax Rates for 2023
RateSingleHead of Household
0%$0 – $44,625$0 – $59,750
15%$44,626 – $492,300$59,751 – $523,050
Aug 16, 2023
What is the one time capital gains exemption? You can sell your primary residence and avoid paying capital gains taxes on the first $250,000 of your profits if your tax-filing status is single, and up to $500,000 if married and filing jointly. The exemption is only available once every two years.
  • What is capital gains on $350000?
    • The gains from $37,388 to $52,455 are taxed at 6% ($904) The gains from $52,455 to $66,295 are taxed at 8% ($1,107) The gains from $66,295 to $338,639 are taxed at 9.30% ($25,328) Finally, the remaining gain from $338,639 to $350,000 are taxed at 10.30% ($1,170)
  • How do you calculate capital gains on sale of a home
    • Capital gain calculation in four steps · Determine your basis. · Determine your realized amount. · Subtract your basis (what you paid) from the realized amount ( 

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