What happens if I sell my residence after 5 months?

August 15, 2005

From:  Anonymous
Date:  Wed, 13 Jul 2005

If I sell my home, which I bought 5 months ago, do I owe capital gains tax? This is my primary residence. I been living in the home since I bought it in February, 2005. The gain is less than $250,000.

I just want to move to a nicer place.

Thank you.

Answer

Date:  Mon, 08 Aug 2005

Since you haven't owned the home and used it as your principal residence for more than two years, and there is no "reasonable cause" exception that applies in your situation, any gain will be taxable income. If you don't own the home for more than one year at the time the sale closes, any gain will be taxable as a short-term capital gain at your highest marginal tax rates.

Good luck!
Mike Gray

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