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Capital Gains exclusion from sale of primary residence

Level 2

I have a client who sold her primary residence, and I am trying to figure out if she qualifies for partial exclusion of gain.  The home she sold was her primary residence for only one year. She wanted to get away from that area as she did not feel safe. Does this qualify as an unforeseeable event for partial exclusion?

Looking at Pub. 523. I think she does qualify for this exclusion, but I just want to make sure as it is not very clear to me what qualifies as unforeseeable event. 

2021 Publication 523 (irs.gov)

2 Comments 2
Level 15

Because it had bad feng shui, perhaps?  But that was foreseeable. 

The question is whether "You couldn’t have reasonably anticipated the situation when you bought the home."  I have a friend whose townhouse is very near another where a convicted felon with a warrant out for his arrest on another charge just moved in.  It was purchased by the guy's mother, so it's not a case of an undesirable tenant who might have to move soon.  My friend has already filed for an order of protection because of incidents that have happened involving this neighbor.  I would call that the kind of situation where the shorter occupancy rule would apply.  In other words, it's a "facts and circumstances" case.

And you'd need, or want, to be ready for the counterarguments the IRS could bring.