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Yes, the closings just have to be 2 years and a day apart from each other. If the exemption claims are on tax returns that are only one tax year apart, say one sale was on June 30, 2017 and one sale was on July 1, 2019 - so you claimed an exemption in 2017, and then claimed it again in 2019, you might get a question from the IRS to clarify the dates. But as long as they are 2 full years and a day apart, you should be fine.

Just curious and too lazy to look up. Does the sale have to be 2 years apart? Using your first example where qualifying time is broken into pieces, a person could break up the primary residency between two houses in a little over 4 years. A simplified example is that a person lives in one home for 1 year, 11 months. Then they move to another home for 2 years, 1 month. Then they move back to the first home for 2 months. They now have lived in two homes over 4 years, 2 months where they lived in each home for 2 years, 1 month. If they sell both homes in the same year, could they exclude the gains from both homes?

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