Dupont, WA asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Washington

Q: Question for a Tax Attorney about capital gains on houses

in 2005 we (My wife and I) bought a house and lived in it from 2005 till 2008 just after I went into the Army. We were outside the driving area for the base I was stationed at. We turned the property in to a rental and it remained a rental till we sold it in 2018. We used the tax exclusion for the capital gains on that property for our 2018 taxes. In 2008 we bought another property closer to work and lived in it from 2008 till 2011 when we moved on military orders out of state. We turned this property into another rental and kept it that way till 2019 when we sold it to our tenants. I need to know if there are exceptions to the rule for taking the homeowner tax exclusion in 2018 and then in 2019. We have been claiming these properties each year on taxes every year and it seems to me that we should be able to get the exception because we have met all other requirements and only moved from them on orders from the government.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: There is an ability for military personal to suspend the personal residence exemption but you have to be deployed during the suspension period. There's nothing in your question that makes me think it would apply, but I don't have all the facts.

It's probably not going to work that you have two personal residences that are both rentals and both can qualify for the personal residence exemption.

I would take this to a professional who can walk you though the numbers. There's not enough info here to make a suggestion, and the info needed should not be shared here.

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