"Unforeseen Circumstances" Exception to Residence Exclusion

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2006-04-14
Authors
Harl, Neil
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A statutory exception1 added in 1998 to the exclusion on gain from sale or exchange of the principal residence2 has, as anticipated, broadened significantly the opportunity to utilize the exclusion.3 The exception allows taxpayers who fail to meet the ownership and use requirements4 by reason of a change of place of employment, health or other “unforeseen circumstances” to be able to exclude the fraction of the $500,000 if married and filing a joint return (or $250,000 for a separate return) equal to the fraction of the exclusion for the years the requirements are met.5

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