Your Life

Your Life

Major life milestones often have a major tax impact. Changes in your marital status, having a baby or adopting a child can have significant impact on your taxes. This is the place to ask questions about dependents, real estate, and other various scenarios that play a significant role in what taxes you pay.

Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-11-2018
Accepted Solution

Not required to file due to income, but sold house, do I need to file?



I'm working on the taxes for my mom.  Some background: In 2008, my parents acquired their house through the estate of my Dad's dad.  Given the structure of the will, each child was given a percentage and my dad opted to use his percentage to buy the house based on the then assessed value.  My dad passed away about three years ago.  Since then, the house was placed in my mom's name.  In 2017, I helped my mom sell the house.  We sold it for less than the valuation back in 2008 and the proceeds are less than $50k.


Since my dad passed away, I've been handling the taxes and have chosen not to file.  As I look at this each year with this year being mostly the same, there is no reason to file because her income is too low.  With the sale of the house at a loss, I would normally look past this and again not file.  However, we received a 1099-S.  From what I read, we need to file something because we received the 1099-S.  Should I simply file the full set of tax forms or is there a simple "report the sale form" that I could fill out and send in?


Any advice or guidance would be helpful.

Associate (Pioneer)
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-13-2018

Re: Not required to file due to income, but sold house, do I need to file?

Hello Gtdotcom.


The short answer is no, you don’t have to file this year if your 1099-S was for a loss, but there are some reasons why you still might want to file a return this year.


There is no way to just report a 1099-S, without filing your entire tax return. If your 1099-S is for a loss as you suggested, and your total income is lower than the filing requirement, just getting the 1099-S does not require you to file, because your total net income would still be below the filing requirement.


However, there are some advantages to filing:

  • If you are due any refund, the only way to get it is to file a return.
  • The IRS received a copy of the 1099-S that you received, so it might raise a red flag if you aren’t reporting it because you aren’t filing your taxes.

The IRS might send you a letter if you do not file basically asking why you didn’t file. Answering this letter would be relatively simple, you would just say the 1099-S was for a loss, and the total income was below the filing requirement still, explaining your situation to them.


It might indeed be a more efficient use of your time to answer any possible IRS letters sent your way instead of filing a return, but a lot of people don’t feel comfortable putting themselves in a position where they are corresponding directly with the service. Those are the advantages and disadvantages to your option of filing and not filing this year, at the end of the day, it is your choice.

I hope that answers all of your questions, if you have any other questions I am happy to help,


Tax Research Specialist

Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-11-2018

Re: Not required to file due to income, but sold house, do I need to file?

Lee_H,  Thank you for the response and including what I might expect depending on which action I choose.  Very helpful.

Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-19-2018

Re: Not required to file due to income, but sold house, do I need to file?

I have a similar question - for the past few years I have filed as HOH, claiming my mother. Her only income was SS so prior to me claiming her, she did not file at all.   In 2017, she sold her house and moved to a retirement community. Does she now have to file due to the sale of the house?  It was sold to a "flipper" at a price well below the value.