5 Sweet Tax Deductions When Selling A Home Did You Take Them All

Dated: 03/19/2018

Views: 44

Original post By Adriana Velez | Mar 8, 2018

selling-deductions
MariuszBlach/iStock

Are there tax deductions when selling a home? You bet—and they can amount to sizable savings when you file with the IRS. So whether you're selling your home soon or sold it last year, you'll want to know all the tax deductions (not to mention tax exemptions or other write-offs) at your disposal.

Here's a rundown of everything you need to know, plus a preview of what's in store once the new tax code takes effect next year.

1. Selling costs

“You can deduct any costs associated with selling the home—including legal fees, escrow fees, advertising costs, and real estate agent commissions,” says Joshua Zimmelman, president of Westwood Tax and Consulting in Rockville Center, NY.

This could also include home staging fees, according to Thomas J. Williams, a tax accountant who operates Your Small Biz Accountant in Kissimmee, FL.

2018 tax changes: These deductions are still allowed under the new tax law.

2. Home improvements and repairs

Did you renovate a few rooms to make your home more marketable? Super—they probably helped you fetch a higher sales price, and now you can deduct those upgrade costs as well. This includes painting the house, repairing the roof or water heater, or anything that remains useful past a year.

But there’s a catch, and it all boils down to timing.

“If you needed to make home improvements in order to sell your home, you can deduct those expenses as selling costs as long as they were made within 90 days of the closing,” says Zimmelman.

2018 tax changes: None.

3. Property taxes

If you were dutifully paying your property taxes up to the point when you sold your home, you can deduct the amount you paid in property taxes for the time you owned it.

2018 tax changes: This deduction is still allowed, but your total deductions are capped at $10,000, Zimmelman says. You may be able to avoid this cap if you prepaid your 2018 taxes and if your property was assessed  in 2017, but estimated assessments won’t qualify.

4. Mortgage interest

As with property taxes, you can deduct the interest on your mortgage (up to a maximum of $1 million) for the portion of the year you owned your home.

2018 tax changes: New homeowners (and sellers) can deduct the interest on up to only $750,000 of mortgage debt, though homeowners who got their mortgage before Dec. 15, 2017, can continue deducting up to the original $1 million amount, according to Zimmelman.

5. Moving expenses

If you sold your home in 2017 in order to move for a job change, you can deduct those expenses.

2018 tax changes: Lawmakers eliminated this deduction for most of us. However, members of the armed forces on active duty can still take the deduction.

But what's up with capital gains tax for sellers?

This one isn’t technically a deduction (it's an exclusion), but you’re still going to like it. As a reminder, capital gains are your profits from selling your home—whatever cash is left after paying off your expenses, plus any outstanding mortgage debt. And yes, these profits are taxed as income. But here's the good news: You can exclude up to $250,000 of the capital gains from the sale if you’re single, and $500,000 if married. The only big catch is you must have lived in your home at least two of the past five years.

2018 tax changes: None. Lawmakers tried to change this rule, but it managed to survive—so it’s still one home sellers can cherish. However, look for this to possibly change in a future tax bill.

Ralph DiBugnara, president of Home Qualified and vice president at Residential Home Funding, says lawmakers would like to change this so that homeowners would have to live in the property for five of the past eight years, instead of two out of five.


Life is a 24 hour business, getting married or divorced, having kids or adopting,

downsizing or upgrading, starting a new career or retiring, and moving to a different

state or country. There’s a home for every stage in your life. Let me help make your life easier.

Denver CO Homes for Sale – Wan Lim, Associate Broker/ Realtor

Your local realtor serving Cherry Creek, Centennial, Denver and the

surrounding communities. Purchasing a home is not easy, but it can be

with me! I will work tirelessly with investors, buyers and sellers to 

save you time and money but most importantly to get you into the 

home of your dreams! Call Wan Lim anytime at (303) 910-0818

You can also text 'Wan' to 85377 for my mobile business card!

eNewsletter Sign Up

Blog author image

Wan Lim

My name is Wan, I am passionate and driven to help everyone I can in buying and selling real estate. Just a little bit about me, I graduated Colorado State University with a degree in Hospitality Mana....

Want to Advertise on this Site?

Latest Blog Posts

House Hunting Checklist 10 Essentials To Bring On Your Search

Embarking on a house hunt is a little like planning a wedding — both require insane attention to detail and lead to what we hope will be a satisfying long-term commitment. So grab that clipboard

Read More

Save The Ocean

Our ocean faces many threats like the  of ocean trash, overfishing and ocean acidification. With the help of donors like you, Ocean Conservancy is developing innovative solutions to save our

Read More

Part 2 Boosting Curb Appeal

Install vinyl siding.  Protect the exterior of your home with vinyl siding.  Vinyl and premium vinyl siding are offered in a wide range of colors and are durable and low-maintenance. 

Read More

Workshop For Minority Homebuyers This Weekend

If you have considered buying a home and are tired of throwing away your money on rent this workshop could be for you! I encourage you to take a little bit of time out of your schedule and do

Read More