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Will My Escrow Agent Have to Report My Sale to the IRS?

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 required anyone responsible for closing a real estate transaction, which may include the escrow agent, title company, or attorney, to report a real estate sale or exchange to the IRS on Form 1099-S. In addition, they were required to furnish a statement to the seller of the gross proceeds of the sale. In 1998, with the passage of the Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997, an exception to this reporting requirement was allowed.

If the sale price of your residence is $250,000 or less ($500,000 or less for married sellers) and you have lived in the property, as your principal residence, for the last two out of the last five years, your closing agent will not be required to file Form 1099-S with the IRS. The gross proceeds of the sale need not be reported to the IRS if these conditions are met.

Be sure that your closing agent has your written confirmation that your sale is exempt from the IRS reporting rule. Most closing agents have a form, called a “Certification for No Information Reporting on the Sale or Exchange of a Principal Residence” which you will you be asked to sign at closing. The form will ask for your seller information, social security number, address, and certification that you have met the exemption requirements.

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