Florida Homestead Reminder

Florida Homestead Reminder

The Florida Homestead Exemption reduces the taxable value of real property by up to $25,000, $50,000 for a married couple. It is an ad valorem tax exemption provided by Florida law for qualified residents who own and reside on the property as their primary residence. Properties that receive the homestead exemption qualify under the “Save Our Homes” Amendment and may realize additional benefits.

Under Florida law, the homestead exemption is only available to US citizens, permanent resident aliens, or others who are legally able to form the intent to remain permanently under immigration laws. Homestead exemptions are only available on an individual’s primary home. This exemption does not apply to businesses, rental property, second homes, homeowners claiming permanent residency-based exemptions or tax credits in other states, or homes with owners that do not claim Florida as their primary residence.

The Florida homestead exemption is not automatic. A homeowner must obtain a homestead exemption by filing for a homestead exemption with the Property Appraiser in the county in which the property is located. While most counties still use paper applications, a few larger counties offer online homestead filing. While the applicable statutes are the same in all 67 counties, the standards applied vary greatly. Some Property Appraiser offices require significantly more documentation than others, as determining eligibility is a matter within the discretion of each elected Property Appraiser.

You may file a new application for homestead exemption no later than March 1 of the year for which the exemption applies. If March 1 falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is the next business day. We encourage you to file your application as soon as you complete the qualifying transaction to minimize the risk of missing the March 1 deadline that is set by Florida law.

If you purchased a new home after January 1, 2018, you may pre-file now for tax year 2019 Homestead and other exemptions. The timely filing period for Homestead Exemption for 2019 is March 2, 2018 through March 1, 2019. The absolute deadline to LATE FILE for any 2019 exemption — if you miss the March 1 timely filing deadline — is September 18, 2019. State law (Sec. 196.011(8), Fla. Stat.) does not allow late filing for exemptions after this date, regardless of any good cause reason for missing the late filing deadline. Please click on the following link for more information about Homestead and other exemptions for which you may be eligible http://bcpa.net/homestead.asp.

Because of the “portability” provision of the January 2008 constitutional amendment, a homesteaded owner may now move up to $500,000 of the “Save Our Homes” benefit from one Florida home to the next. However, acquiring a house that had a homestead exemption does not entitle the buyer to retain the low tax rate enjoyed by the previous homesteaded resident, as homestead exemptions cannot be inherited or purchased.

Under Florida’s Save Our Homes Act, the annual assessed value of a Florida Homestead is restricted to the annual increase of the lesser of any increase in the Consumer Price Index or three percent (3%) per year.

If you have any questions about Florida Homestead, contact us 561-844-3600.

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