San Diego Capital Gains Tax on a Vacation Home in 2021

A vacation home is a place where you can relax and take some time for yourself. 

Not everyone has one, but even if you do, it may not be a place that stays interesting to you for the long haul.

You may outgrow this type of home after a while, or prefer something a little bit different.

Alternatively, you might want to vacation in a different area of the world. 

That means you will need to sell your vacation home. 

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This can be good or bad, depending on if you know the laws regarding selling this type of property.

Besides other fees and taxes you may have to worry about, you will also have to be concerned with capital gains tax laws.

These laws differ, depending on what type of property you are selling. 

In the case of a vacation home, calculating the total is easy, so you won’t be left scratching your head trying to figure it out.

Furthermore, when you know these laws, you can make them work to your advantage and be sure that you are handling them properly. 

Here’s a look at the laws concerning San Diego Capital Gains Tax on a Vacation Home

Here's a quick rundown of our list:

Capital Gains

You may be wondering what capital gains are and why you have to pay capital gains tax.

 A capital gain occurs when you make a profit on the sale of an asset. 

This includes the sale of any large investment, like stocks, bonds, or property.

There are two types, short-term and long-term.

Must Read: San Diego Real Estate Capital Gains Taxes

Short-term gains are gains on assets you have owned for less than a year.

Long-term gains are for assets you have owned for longer than 1 year.  

Each gain is calculated in a different manner. 

Short-term gains are calculated at the same rate as your income tax bracket, so if you pay 12% taxes on your income, you will also pay 12% on short-term gains. 

For long-term, you normally pay 15% of the total you profited, unless you are in the top income tax bracket, where you will pay 20%. 

Those in the top bracket may also encounter additional taxes, so be aware of this if it applies to you. 

To figure out what the amount of the capital gain on your vacation home is, it is a simple math problem.

You’ll need to know this amount, in order to calculate the taxes on your capital gain.

Take the amount you sold the property for, minus the amount you paid for it, minus the amount of any improvements added to the property, and you have the dollar amount of capital gain on your property.

This is the number you use to calculate, with the applicable percentages on your federal taxes. 

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California Taxes

Another thing you’ll have to keep in mind, if your vacation home is in San Diego, is that you’ll be liable for taxes in California, since it’s the site of the sale. 

In this state, all income you generate is calculated at the same rate. 

For example, if the income you make is taxed at 10%, your capital gain tax would be calculated at 10%. 

This makes it easy for residents, but if you are not a resident of California, it may be a bit trickier to understand. 

You will have to pay no matter what your residential status of the state is. 

Be sure that you are educated on how the state processes taxes, so you can be covered whether you live there or not.

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Things to Consider

You should keep all of the receipts, bills, and all other important documents about your house in a safe place. 

This will allow you to be able to gather them together at a moment’s notice, which will come in handy during tax season. 

It will also help you prove everything, in the case of an audit or a problem with any paperwork.

Another thing is to check out all of your options. 

If there is any way you can convert your house to a residential property, rental property, or a second home before you sell it, you may want to look into that. 

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There are different tax rules that govern different types of property, including tax exemptions, so be sure to read up on these topics.

In the case of rental property, sometimes you are also able to swap out properties that are of similar value. 

Be sure to take the time to read our articles on these types of property, via the links provided above. 

They can tell you all you need to know about the tax rules on these properties, in a way that’s easy to understand and follow.

One more thing that you may want to think about is pairing your home sale with a loss that you took. 

For instance, if you have stocks that have been losing money, it’s a good idea to sell them in the same year you sell your vacation home. 

This way you will have a loss that can offset some of the gain, which lessens the amount of tax you will have to pay. 

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Like with other types of capital gains taxes, you will have to pay money in federal and state taxes when selling a vacation home.

Calculating both types is effortless, especially when you know how to do it. 

There are simple ways to know how much you will be responsible for, depending on the amount you earn, as well as other aspects.

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Stay well versed on how the taxes and percentages are calculated, and be aware of the difference between short-term and long-term gains. 

You can learn more information about them here

If you want to save money on taxes on your vacation home, you should be sure that your home does not fall into another type of property category, such as primary or rental, since those have completely different rules to be concerned about. 

Look into your options and be sure to do your research before selling your vacation home.

What do you think?

Have you picked up some great tactics from this article?

Leave me a comment below – or, contact me here.  

Your Tax Insider, 


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