Tag Archives: U.S. persons sale of principal residence

U.S. persons in Canada must pay capital gains tax on sale of principal residence – makes upward mobility difficult

Payable by U.S. persons on the sale of a principal residence

“The principal residence exemption provides Canadian taxpayers with a generous tax break, possibly one we take for granted. In other countries the gain on the sale of a residence is not always completely free of tax. In the United States, for example, only the first $250,000 is exempted. For Canadian tax purposes, there is no monetary limit on the size of the capital gain that can be excluded from your income.”

So says: HR Block Canada in Tax Talk

It may come as a surprise to U.S. persons (Green Card holders, citizens or those who spend too much in the U.S.) that capital gains from the sale of a principal residence are taxable. The general principle is described here. The principle is that one gets a $250,000 exemption from capital gains tax. But, as always make sure that you read the rules carefully.

This is one more example of how citizenship-based taxation harms U.S. persons who live outside the U.S. For example, in Canada, the sale of a principal residence is a “tax free capital gain”. Not so in the U.S. What does this mean practically? A lot. Continue reading