Tax questions

February 22, 1999

Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering tax questions through April 15.

Could you explain the new rule on the exclusion of profit from the sale of a home in or after 1998?

Under the Taxpayers Relief Act of 1997, an exclusion for the profit from the sale of a home has no age restrictions, as under the previous law. Single filers may exclude up to $250,000 and married couples filing jointly may exclude up to $500,000. The taxpayer or his/her spouse must have owned the home and both must have occupied it as a principal residence (or lived in the home as the main home) for at least two of the five years before the sale or exchange. Also, such an exclusion cannot occur more than once every two years. Neither the taxpayer nor his/her spouse could have excluded a gain from the sale of another house after May 1, 1997.

The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary.

To ask a tax question, call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at 410-783-1800. Call 410-268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 410-836-5028 in Harford County, 410-848-0338 in Carroll County. Using a Touch-Tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6225 after the greeting. To submit questions by e-mail and access an online tax guide, go to The Sun's Web site at www.sunspot.net/tax.

Selected questions will be answered in the Business section. No questions will be answered personally.

Pub Date: 2/22/99

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