The average person in this country is taxed more than ever before due to our increasingly complex tax system. This article will go into much greater detail about one of the most expensive taxes we have- capital gains tax (CGT) on real estate!

We will be looking at how rich people lower their CGT by creating loss deductions, what types of property are subject to CGT, and some strategies for reducing your losses.

This article will also look at who is exempt from paying any CGT, and how wealthy individuals avoid it.

I’ve organized this information according to step of avoidance, starting with things you can do now and working up towards investing so that you are immune to CGT.

Avoidance tip #1: Sell Your Home Before You Buy New One

You may be able to escape capital gains taxation if you sell an existing house before buying another one.

However, you have to make sure you claim the right amount as a loss when you register for income tax returns later.

There is no hard and fast rule for determining whether or not you qualify for a capital gain tax deduction, but most experts agree that if you own your home outright then you probably don’t.

That means if you were planning to buy a new house soon, you might want to hold off until next year.

What happens when you sell property

how much is capital gains tax on real estate

When you decide to sell your home, there are several things that can affect how much capital gains tax you owe. The length of time it takes to find a buyer and the type of sale you choose will both have an effect on how much tax you pay.

The longer it takes to find a buyer or the more expensive the house is, the higher the capital gain taxes will be. This is because either party must include this in their cost when calculating what they paid for the house previously.

If you’re in possession of your old house at the time of sale, you may be able to exclude part of the costs if you establish certain rules. For example, if you lived in it as your main residence you could claim up to $750,000 of any expenses towards the price.

This would depend on your personal circumstances but staying in your current home is one of the best ways to avoid paying too much tax.

How to calculate capital gains

how much is capital gains tax on real estate

The how-to-calculate-capital-gains section! This is by far my most asked question so I decided to make it its own article here on A Wealthy Way of Life.

I will be breaking down two different ways to determine your capital gain for real estate, and what matters more in the equation depends on what stage you are in with your investing career.

If you are just starting out as an investor, then staying within $0-$500 per asset is important because that’s where the IRS threshold is. Anything over this limit may incur higher taxes or even possible lawsuits.

But once you get into the more advanced stages of investing, keeping an eye on the price difference between purchases and sales becomes more significant.

This is because when you sell an investment property, you have to take your cost into consideration. If the market value goes up, you can reduce your tax bill. On the other hand, if the value drops, you could actually earn a profit instead of losing money.

So which one is we talking about today? Get ready…

The best way to determine your capital gains from REAL ESTATE

Closing sale: When you decide to sell an investment property, you have to consider your closing costs. These include things like attorney fees, mortgage payments, maintenance expenses, and more.

When is capital gains tax applicable

how much is capital gains tax on real estate

The other situation where you can be taxed on your real estate sale profits comes down to when you sell your property. If you are in business for profit, then capital gain taxes apply. This includes running your own company, investing in shares or stocks, or selling a house.

When it comes to real estate, there’s one more situation under which capital gains taxes apply. They’re due when you make a “capital investment” in a rental property.

This means if you buy a house that’s only yours to live in (no roommate agreement), then you’ve made an investment because now you have a second home. You’ll need to report this as income, and pay capital gains tax on half of its price.

The same goes if you invest in another rental property – you’ll have to declare both purchases as investments, and they’ll each require separate reporting and taxation.

Can I claim capital gains tax?

how much is capital gains tax on real estate

If you are in possession of your property as owner, or have given it to someone as ownership (such as giving away a house), then you can’t make an income tax-free profit by selling it.

You will be taxed on any increase in value that happens after you owned the property for at least 12 months. This is known as ordinary income tax, which is paid at standard rates.

In addition, if the property was his own personal residence, there is no general rule about whether he owns it for more than six months or not.

However, anyone else who lives with him does count as owning the home, so they would both be liable for this extra tax.

This is because they share living expenses, and therefore benefit from the lower cost of housing. It also means they wouldn’t pay separate bills for each other, reducing overall household spending.

If one person doesn’t qualify as owning the home, only then can either one of them get away without paying these additional costs.

Capital Gains Tax bands in the UK

how much is capital gains tax on real estate

In the United Kingdom (UK), there is no national tax band for capital gains made from sales of residential property. Instead, what matters is whether or not the sale was your main residence. If it is then you pay higher taxes!

If you sell an investment home that you use as your main residence, then you are taxed at different rates depending on how long you owned it before. The longer you own a house, the lower the rate you pay.

This can be confusing to know, so we have compiled some information about this here.

Capital Gains Tax bands in the US

how much is capital gains tax on real estate

In the United States, there are three different capital gains tax brackets depending on what kind of asset you’re trading and when you sell it. These include:

0%-10% for stocks

11-20% for bonds and other fixed income assets such as investment grade real estate (e.g. homes)

and other fixed income assets (e.g. homes) 20%+ for more expensive investments like business or residential property

The highest bracket is always used to determine your taxable income. For example, if the maximum capital gain tax rate was 20%, then any profit made from selling an asset would be included in taxed income up to the limit of whatever your total annual gross revenue was.

After that, the next lower bracket applies which usually has a higher cap than the previous one. This means that even larger profits are not taxed at the same rate!

In fact, some experts say that because of this, people with very large estates can earn significant amounts of money while paying little to no taxes. This isn’t true though since all Americans have to pay at least marginal rates anywhere above 10%.

Tips for managing your capital gains

how much is capital gains tax on real estate

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, you can reduce how much taxes you owe on your house by selling it! This is because of what’s known as tax deferred income.

When you sell your home, you can choose to have part or all of the profit treated as short term (or non-taxable) gain. The rest is taxed as long term (or ordinary income) loss, which means they’re carried forward from year to year.

The longer you own a property, the higher the savings you’ll get with this tip. Take care not to make your sale too soon though! You don’t want to lose money on your house.

Tax laws vary so check out our article about the basics of investing to learn more about these types of losses.”


Selling your house is one of the best ways to increase wealth. If done properly, you can save a lot of money in taxes. In fact, some experts say that if you manage your homes right, working with professionals, then buying a new house might be the better option than saving up for a down payment!

We hope you found this information helpful.

Capital Gains Tax and the IRS

As mentioned earlier, if you are in fact selling your home, then there is very little chance that capital gains tax will apply to the sale! This is because most people consider their homes to be an investment property, so they treat the house as regular income instead of capital gain.

If this makes you feel more confident, you can always talk to professionals for advice on whether or not it’s time to sell. There may be ways to reduce the cost of buying and selling a home, which could lower the amount of capital gains taxes you have to pay.

And while it might sound crazy, but some experts claim that living in a less expensive area than where you live now can actually help you avoid paying too much capital gains tax!

So before deciding when to pull the trigger on selling your current home, do some research and see what options are available to you.


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