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Question: Hello, I sold my house last year and lost 30K. Can I claim any capital loss on my tax returns? Rozario, Nashua, NH

Answer: No, when you sell a home at a loss you can't turn to Uncle Sam to lesson the financial hit. A home enjoys enormous benefits when you have a profit at sale. A single filer gets to exclude $250,000 from capital gains tax and a joint filer a $500,000 gain. (There are some restrictions surrounding this capital gains exclusion.) But on the downside the loss is all yours.

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Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.

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