The Ultimate Guide to Florida’s Homestead Exemption
United Mortgage Advisors, Inc.
United Mortgage Advisors, Inc. FL
Published on February 29, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Florida’s Homestead Exemption

Welcome, Florida homeowners! If you’re looking to save on property taxes and protect your home, you’re in the right place. The Homestead Exemption in Florida offers a range of benefits, from tax savings to creditor protection. This guide walks you through the essentials: what the exemption is, how to qualify, the benefits, and how to apply.

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What Is the Homestead Exemption?

The Homestead Exemption is a Florida provision that reduces the taxable value of your primary residence by up to $50,000, offering significant property tax savings and other protections.

Who Qualifies?

To be eligible for the Homestead Exemption, you must:

  • Be a Florida resident.
  • Own and occupy the property as your permanent residence as of January 1st of the tax year.

Benefits of Applying

  • Tax Savings: The first $25,000 of your home’s assessed value is exempt from all property taxes, including school district taxes. An additional exemption applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 for non-school taxes.
  • Credit Protection: The exemption offers protection from certain types of creditors, safeguarding your home under specific conditions.
  • Save Our Homes (SOH) Assessment Limitation: This benefit caps the increase of the assessed value of your homesteaded property to a maximum of 3% per year or the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower.
  • Portability: You can transfer the accumulated SOH benefit from an old homestead to a new one, potentially lowering your new home’s tax assessment.

Additional Exemptions

Florida doesn’t stop there; there are numerous other exemptions available for qualifying residents, including seniors 65 and older, disabled veterans, and surviving spouses of first responders, among others.

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How to Apply

Applications must be submitted to the property appraiser’s office in your county before the March 1st deadline. You’ll need to provide proof of ownership and Florida residency. Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Evidence of Ownership: This could be your deed, a tax bill, or any document proving your beneficial interest in the property.
  • Proof of Florida Residency: A valid Florida Driver’s License or ID, Florida vehicle registration, and additional documents like a Florida voter registration card, declaration of domicile, or recent tax returns might be required.

County Property Appraiser Links

For your convenience, here’s a list of all Florida counties with direct links to their property appraiser sites for more detailed Homestead Exemption information and to apply online if your county provides the option:

Final Thoughts

The Homestead Exemption offers a pathway to more affordable homeownership in Florida, providing not just tax relief but also protection and peace of mind. Here are some key takeaways:

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  • Apply Early: Beat the March 1st deadline to ensure you don’t miss out.
  • Document Everything: Keep copies of all submitted documents for your records.
  • Stay Informed: Regulations can change, so it’s wise to check with your local property appraiser for the most current information.

Whether you’re applying for the first time or considering a move, understanding the eligibility criteria, benefits, and application process is crucial. It ensures you’re taking every possible step to save on property taxes and protect your home. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or your local property appraiser’s office. We’re here to support you in navigating the process and maximizing these benefits.

 

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United Mortgage Advisors, Inc.
United Mortgage Advisors, Inc. FL
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