Married couples can exclude more profits from the sale of their primary homes than individuals, according to the Internal Revenue Service. As of 2015, married couples can exclude up to $500,000 of the gains from the sale of their primary home, while individuals can exclude only $250,000.
To qualify for the capital gains exclusion, the taxpayer must have owned and lived in the house for at least 24 months during the five years preceding the sale, states the IRS. The 24 months do not need to be consecutive. Vacations and short periods of time away from the home continue to count as time lived in the house. To take this exclusion, the taxpayer cannot have excluded gains on the sale of a home for the previous two tax years. There are exceptions to these rules, which include marriage, divorce or condemnation of the home.