What is the FLORIDA HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION: All legal Florida residents are eligible for a Homestead Exemption on their homes, condominiums, co-op apartments, and certain mobile home lots if they qualify. The Florida Constitution provides this tax-saving exemption on the first and third $25,000 of the assessed value of an owner/occupied residence.
Who Can Apply: If, as a new homeowner, you are interested in this exemption, you must apply to the county tax assessor’s office. You should also call your local tax assessor’s office to find out exactly when you can apply for the homestead exemption.
When Are the Application Dates and Deadlines: Typically, the filing dates for the homestead exemption are between January 1st and April 1st of the first full year of your home ownership. This means that you must own your home by January 1st of the year that you are filing. Keep an eye on your calendar, because late filing will result in you missing out on the exemption for that year.
What You Need When Filing for Homestead
When filing an application you must have the following items listed below. To claim 100% coverage, all owners occupying the property as Tenants in Common (i.e., proportional share co-owners) must file on jointly held property. In the case of a married couple (“Tenants by the Entirety”) or Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship (“JTRS”), any one owner may qualify for 100% coverage — although it is always highly advisable to have all eligible owner-occupants to file.
1. Proof of Ownership: In general, the recorded Deed or Co-op Proprietary Lease must be held in the name(s) of the individuals applying for Homestead. You do not need to provide a copy of the deed or co-op lease if the document has already been recorded in the Official Records. If the PROPERTY IS HELD IN A TRUST, YOU WILL ALSO NEED EITHER A NOTARIZED CERTIFICATE OF TRUST OR A COMPLETE COPY OF THE TRUST AGREEMENT. Note: Most taxpayers prefer to use the simple Certificate of Trust form, instead of providing the entire trust, as it better protects the privacy of your estate planning and other financial matters.
2. Proof of Permanent Florida Residence — preferably dated prior to January 1 of the tax year for which you are filing — is established in the form of:
A. FOR ALL APPLICANTS: Florida’s Driver’s License (or — for non-drivers only — a Florida I.D. Card) is REQUIRED. Note: You must surrender to DMV any out-of-state regular driver’s license. You MUST also have either of the following:
Florida Voter’s Registration; or
Recorded Declaration of Domicile.
B. FOR NON-US CITIZENS, you MUST have the items listed above AND proof of permanent residency, asylum/parolee status (or other “PRUCOL” status); OR proof you are the parent of a US-born (US Citizen) minor child who resides with you.
3. If you or your married spouse have a Homestead Exemption in any other county, state or country (or an equivalent permanent residency-based exemption or tax credit) on another property you also currently own, you will NOT be eligible for a homestead in Florida until after you surrender the exemption in that other jurisdiction.
The State-approved application form requests certain information for all owners living on the premises and filing:
- Current employers of all owners
- Addresses listed on last I.R.S. income tax returns.
- Date of each owner’s permanent Florida residence.
- Date of occupancy for each property owner.
- Social Security numbers of all owners filing.
- Social Security number of any married spouse of the applicant, even if the spouse is not named in the deed and is not filing).
For more information contact your local Property Appraiser’s office.