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New Tax Break Helps Surviving Spouses
- March 3rd, 2008
Widows and widowers who don't want to sell their house right away will get a tax break under a new law. The law gives surviving spouses two years to sell their house and receive the full $500,000 capital gains exclusion that married couples are entitled to.
Couples who are married and file taxes jointly can sell their main residence and exclude up to $500,000 of the gain from the sale from their gross income. Single individuals can exclude only $250,000. Under the previous law, if a spouse died, the surviving spouse could file jointly -- and therefore get the full $500,000 exclusion -- only for the year in which the spouse died. The new law allows surviving spouses to get the full $500,000 exclusion if they sell their house within two years of the date of the spouse's death and other ownership and use requirements have been met. The result is that widows or widowers who sell within two years may not have to pay any capital gains tax on the sale of the home.
The change is contained in the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, signed into law Dec. 20, 2007. For more on the bill, go to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-3648
For a Wall Street Journal article on the change, click here. (Article may be available only to online subscribers.)
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Jean Galloway Ball is certified in Elder Law by the National Elder Law Foundation. She is a 1977 honors graduate of the National Law Center, George Washington University, and she did her undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1971. She is admitted to practice in Vir...
Ron M. Landsman, P.A.
Ron M. Landsman has been practicing elder law since 1983, before it was known as elder law, originally with Landsman and Laster, Washington, D.C., then Landsman, Eakes and Laster, also in Arlington, VA, and since 1990 in his own practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has been among the most active members of the...