How to Avoid Taxes From a Real Estate Sale

Real estate taxes can come with a very high price tag. Capital gains tax has tripled over the past 100 years, and is a lucrative revenue stream for the US government. When you are selling your home, and making any substantial profit, it's good to know how to avoid taxes from the sale of your real estate. Here are some good ways to keep your profit high and your taxes low.

Step 1

Gift the profit to your children. The IRS allows gifts to family members as a non-taxable amount. If the sale of your home is below the IRS taxable limit, you can avoid taxes by gifting the profit into an account for one of your children or disburse the amount among several children to meet the limitations.

Step 2

Assume real estate losses in the same year that you gain. If selling your primary residence for a profit, move in to a bigger more expensive property or purchase investment property at the same time. Doing so will show a loss on your real estate transactions, helping you to avoid real estate taxes.

Step 3

Use the property as your primary residence for 24 months prior to the date of sale. Doing this on investment properties can reduce your capital gains tax on real estate transactions very substantially when owning investment properties. Live in the property for 2 years prior to the date of sale, and see your capital gains tax dwindle to next to nothing.

Step 4

Put your real estate holdings in a trust. A real estate attorney can place all of your real estate and collateral as part of a non-taxable trust that can be conveyed to your heirs upon death. This allows you to make a profit on real estate, buy and sell real estate and do so with little to no tax consequences.

Step 5

Participate in a property exchange. Individuals trading properties via deed of trust or deed of sale transactions can avoid real estate taxes completely. Both properties have to be clear of any liens or notes to complete this successfully, however, it is a great way to accumulate parcels of real estate with no tax consequence.

Tip

Consult the real estate laws in your state prior to attempting any real estate transaction. Talk to a real estate attorney about the laws in your state. Speak with a tax attorney for additional suggestions on how to reduce and avoid real estate taxes. Keep good records of all real estate transactions at all times.