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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Ccapital gain on sale of our primary residence.


Thank you for taking my question!

I bought my primary residence in Virginia in 2005, while on H1B visa with green card application in process.  In 2011 when my green card application was rejected I moved to Canada as a citizen of the country. I also own two rental properties in Virginia.

My wife and our son (born in Virginia in 2006) continue to live in our house. My wife was married when I bought the house. She has been employed on HIB visa with green card under process I had my wife’s name added as joint owner of the house in 2012.
Since I became resident in Canada in 2011, I have been filing NR1040 returns for income in the US besides my Canadian T1 General tax return in Canada. My wife has been filing her 1040 and Virginia tax return since 2003.

We are planning to sell the house I would like your advice about our eligibility of $250,000 capital gain exemption and if there is any tax liability on capital gain on sale of our primary residence.

Hello Ryan,

To qualify for the $250,000/$500,000 home sale exclusion, taxpayer must own and occupy the home as their principal residence for at least two years before they sell it.

Your wife meets the ownership/residency test, hence she will qualify for the $250K exclusion from the taxable amount of capital gains.

Hope this helps.

I.J.Zemelman, EA

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IJ Zemelman, EA MBA


I am an IRS-authorized EA and principal of a Tax Preparation firm focusing on U.S. Expatriates. We specialize in all tax issues faced by American citizens living abroad - such as foreign earned income, tax treaties, foreign spouse, etc. Visit our website - - for more information.


18 years professional tax experience, 12 with expatriate taxes.

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MBA from Zicklin School Of Business, IRS Enrolled Agent

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