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I recently sold my foreign primary residence. Do I owe income tax to the U.S. from this sale?

The rules for reporting the sale of your primary residence are generally the same as if the property was located in the United States. The IRS allows an exclusion of $250,000 ($500,000 if filing jointly) if you used and owned the property as your principal residence for two of the past five years. In general, taxpayers must not have excluded the gain from the sale of a former principal residence within the two-year period ending on the date of the sale. If the future sale of your home is due to a change in employment, health or unforeseen circumstances, you may qualify for a reduced exclusion, even if you fail to meet the ownership and use tests, or you used the exclusion within the two-year period ending on the date of the sale. There’s no limit to the number of times you can claim the exclusion.


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Updated: June 2, 2018

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