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JLeslie's avatar

Do you get a tax write off if you lose money selling your primary household?

Asked by JLeslie (56030points) March 28th, 2010

This question is about selling in the United States.

I know if you profit up to $250K for a single person and $500K for married that you don’t pay taxes on the earning, so I was wondering if there is a tax break if you lose money?

How does the break work? Is there a limit to how much you can deduct each year, like other losses?

The house in question does not have a mortgage. I only mention it because I know there might be some new rules regarding mortgages and short sales, etc, and those would not apply here.

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6 Answers

thriftymaid's avatar

I do not believe you can take the loss if the house was your personal residence.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Nope. Personal use assets are not deductible. Sorry.
Can you rent it for a while?

Judi's avatar

I think you just lower your basis, but I am not an accountant. Good question though!

JLeslie's avatar

@worriedguy I don’t want to rent this property.

I wonder if you move before selling it and establish a new primary if you can claim the loss? Are all secondary homes considered “investments?”

thriftymaid's avatar

@JLeslie No. You may have to prove that it was rented. No, some secondary homes are vacation homes.

YARNLADY's avatar

For an accurate, legal answer, you need to consult a licensed professional. To the best of my knowledge, you cannot take a deduction for a loss on the sale of your primary residence, nor of a secondary residence that is not a legal rental.

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