Filing for Homestead and Other Exemptions
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. While a complicated formula is used to explain this — as the additional $25,000 only applies to the non-schools portion of your tax bill — the bottom line is that the basic homestead exemption saved a Broward homeowner in 2013 anywhere from $640 to $1,152 (depending upon your city’s millage rate) in annual tax savings for all homes with a value of $75,000 or higher.
You are entitled to a Homestead Exemption if, as of January 1st, you have made the property your permanent home or the permanent home of a person who is legally or naturally dependent on you. By law, January 1 of each year is the date on which permanent residence is determined.
You may file for Homestead on line by visiting: www.bcpa.net/onlinehomestead.asp
The timely filing period for Homestead Exemption for 2015 is March 2, 2014 through March 2, 2015. The absolute deadline to LATE FILE for any 2015 exemption — if you miss the March 2 timely filing deadline — is September 18, 2015. 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.
What You Need When Filing for Homestead
When filing an application you must bring 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 in person on jointly held property. In the case of a husband/wife (“Tenants by the Entirety”) or Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship (“JTRS”), any one owner may qualify for 100% coverage.
The State-approved application form requests certain information for all owners living on the premises and filing:
Homestead Exemption does not transfer from property to property. If you had this exemption last year on another property and moved, you must file a new application for your new residence. Notify the Property Appraiser to cancel the exemptions on your former home. The sellers’ exemptions will not carry over beyond the year of the sale: you MUST apply for your own exemptions.
Florida’s Portability law allows property owners to transfer their “Save Our Homes” benefit earned on a previous Homestead property to their new Homestead property. If you are applying for a new Homestead Exemption AND you held a Homestead Exemption on a previous property within the last 2 tax-years anywhere in Florida, you should also submit a Portability application with your Homestead application. Note: a Portability application transfers any tax savings you have earned, but it does NOT transfer your Homestead Exemption from one property to another. You MUST first apply for a Homestead Exemption in order to be eligible for Portability.
After your initial application for the Homestead Exemption has been made and the exemption has been granted, a receipt will be mailed to you each year in early January to verify that the status, use and ownership has not changed.
A new application is required if your property has been sold or otherwise disposed of, or the ownership or use changes, or when the holder(s) of the Homestead Exemption ceases to reside on the property as a permanent resident.
This annual Homestead Renewal Receipt does not pertain to any of the other exemptions and/or classifications.
If you no longer qualify: The law requires YOU to notify the Property Appraiser’s office to remove that exemption by March 1. Strong penalties — going back as far as ten years of back taxes, plus 50% penalties and 15% interest — may be imposed on those who do not tell the Property Appraiser to remove exemptions for which they are no longer qualified. Here are a few examples: