His and Her Homes

Today TaxMama hears from Steve in Illinois with a long-distance marriage. “My wife and I work in different cities 100 miles apart.
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Out of necessity we have had to own two homes. We live in each equally, dividing our weekends at her house and then mine. She has taken another job and is selling her home. Can we claim it as her/our main home?”

Dear Steve,

Congratulations on your wife’s new job. Hopefully, she gets to live with you now!

If you actually look at the numbers, you’ll find that it’s virtually impossible to live in each home exactly half the year.
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After all 365 is an odd number.

Essentially, when your wife sells her home, she will be able to exclude 0,000 of the gain since this is her personal residence.
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If the gain is more than 0,000 after taking into account commissions and other selling costs – you will need to count the days you stay there to see if your presence qualifies you for the other 0,000 exclusion.
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Since you’re only spending alternate weekends there and probably have your drivers license and voters registration showing your address…odds are, you probably won’t qualify.
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IRS explains what factors to take into account to determine if your wife’s home is also your personal residence in Publication 523. This should help you decide.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p523/ar02.html#d0e482

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about personal residence exclusions and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com

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