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What happens if the sale of the marital home produces a price higher than the exclusion?

It seems that the tax rates change with every new session of Congress, but at the time of this writing, if a person realizes more than $250,000 (if single) or a couple more than $500,000 (if married, filing jointly), the gain will be taxed at 8 percent or 18 percent, depending upon income.

Despite the slump in the housing market, spouses must consider the capital gains. A couple who bought a house in the early part of the housing boom may face considerable capital gains because the stratospheric prices of the housing market moved the house far above what the couple paid for it.