Owning a home or condominium is an investment, and not an inexpensive one. Fortunately, for homeowners in Florida a little help exists in the form of a homestead exemption.
What Is the Florida Homestead Exemption?
The Florida Homestead Exemption is an annual exemption that permanent Florida residents who qualify can receive on their homes’ assessed values annually. As a result, Floridians who qualify are able to play lower property taxes than those who do not.
How Much is the Exemption?
The Florida constitution allows for up to a $50,000 exemption which is removed from the assessed value of the property in question. This is divided into an exemption of up to $25,000 on the first third of the property’s value and up to $25,000 on the final third of the property’s value.
The exact effect this has on a property’s taxed value is figured by a complicated formula. For example, the $25,000 exemption taken from the last third of the property’s value only applies to the non-schools portion of the tax bill. The exact amount also depends on your particular city’s millage rate. If you have questions about exactly how this number is figured, it is best to speak to a professional tax or real estate professional.
How Do I Qualify for the Florida Homestead Exemption?
In order to qualify for the Florida Homestead Exemption, you must meet certain requirements. The two main requirements you must meat are to be a permanent resident of Florida state and to permanently reside on or occupy the property in question.
Applicants must have a Florida Driver’s License, and that drivers’ license must be both current and valid. When applying by mail, you may provide a photocopy of the front and back of the license. Those filing in person must present a original license when filing.
Additionally, each applicant must have at least one vehicle with a Florida license plate number. The vehicle must also be registered with the state of Florida. In the case of someone who owns more than one vehicle, at least one must be registered with the state.
U.S. citizens must provide a copy of their Florida’s Voter’s Registration card. If that is not possible, the filling out of a Declaration of Domicile will be required. When using the Voter’s Registration card, the address on the card mus be that of the property’s address.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, it will be required that you have a Permanent Resident Alien Card or some proof that such a card has been approved; temporary Visas will not be accepted. You may also present proof of asylum. When filing by mail, the filing must be accompanied by a legible copy of the front and back of the resident card as well as the declaration of domicile.
All applicants must provide the Social Security Number of themselves and their spouse if married. This is true even if the souse is not the owner of the property and isn’t applying. The date of birth of all applicants will also be required as well.
Additionally, you must present proof of ownership, such as a tax bill or recorded deed to the property. In the case of an Ownership in Trust, the copy of the certificate of trust must be presented.
You or your spouse must not be the recipient of a residency based homestead exemption, rollback or tax credit in any state besides Florida while you receive the homestead exemption. If you were previously receiving such a benefit, you may submit a copy of the tax bill showing that no benefit is applied. Alternatively, a letter form the other jurisdiction stating that they provide you with no benefit will also suffice.
Once you qualify for the exemption, if you must file state tax returns in other states, they must be filed as a non-resident or part-time resident of that state, otherwise you will be unable to continue to qualify as a Florida resident for the purposes of this exemption.
When Do I Have to File for the Exemption?
March 1st is the final day for the official timely filing period. Applications for the exemption can be filed in person, online or by mail. If you receive a truth in millage, or TRIM, notice, you should apply immediately if you believe you qualify.
Once you have filed, you will automatically receive a notice of renewal each year. If you do not receive the renewal receipt by March 1st, contact your local county property appraiser and let them know.
Where Can I Go For More Help?
You may find yourself wanting or needing more information. If you are unsure of whether you qualify, or how to file, the Real Estate Professionals with Hamilton-Franklin Realty are always able to help.