Will I owe taxes on the sale of my house in California?

January 14, 2004

Subject:  Moved from California
Date:  Fri, 26 Dec 2003
From:  Frank

We have lived in California for over four years and lived in our primary residence in Folsom, California for over 3.5 years. On June 25, 2003, we moved to Hawaii. Our house is now pending sale and has been unoccupied since June 25th. The closing was targeted for December 19th with a 30 day maximum to December 28th. The contingent sale of the buyer's property in Oakland fell through, but luckily they had a cash backup offer. However, this is pushing the closing of our property back to January 2, 2004.

Since this property has been our primary residence for two out of the last five years, we qualify for the Federal exclusion on the gain. I assume the exclusion also applies for California taxes as well, right? Are there any tax implications in pushing the closing into 2004?

Also, it looks like since the property was our primary residence of the property for over 24 months, that California will not forcibly withhold 3.33 percent of the sale price... please confirm.

Thanks,
Frank

Answer

Date:  Wed, 7 Jan 2004

Hello Frank,

Based on what you have told me, it appears the sale of your residence should qualify for the exclusion on both your federal and California income tax return, subject the applicable limitations. (Consult with a local tax person about Hawaii.) Also, the sale should not be subject to California withholding.

Good luck!
Mike Gray

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