Time to File for Homestead Exemption

Several clients have contacted me recently regarding the process for filing an application for Homestead Exemption. I f you purchased a permanent residence in 2013 – now is the time to start preparing your application to make sure you file by the deadline. The Homestead Exemption is an extremely valuable benefit available to Florida residents who own and occupy a permanent residence in Florida. The Homestead Exemption provides tax exempt savings from real estate taxes on up to the first $50,000 of the property’s assessed value. The Homestead Exemption application must be filed no later than March 3, 2014 with the Property Appraiser’s Office in the county in which the permanent residence is located in order to obtain a Homestead Exemption for 2014.

You are entitled to a $50,000 Homestead Exemption if as of January 1 of the year for which you are applying, you are:

    A permanent resident of Florida;

    who owns real property (“legal title” or “beneficial title in equity” – i.e., the property is held in a trust);

    and the instrument by which you hold title is recorded in the official records of the County in which you live;

    and you reside thereon and in good faith make the same your permanent residence, or the permanent residence of another or others legally or naturally dependent upon you.

To be eligible for an exemption in the current year, you must have owned AND resided in your Florida home, condo or co-op unit as your permanent residence as of January 1 of this year. You would also be eligible if you hold a life estate interest in the property, or reside on the property owned by a Trust and live there pursuant to the terms of the Trust. You must be a US Citizen, a Permanent Resident Alien, or hold “PRUCOL” asylum/refugee parole status in the US. You MUST either be a registered voter in the County in which the residence is located or file a notarized Declaration of Domicile form with the County Recording Office. You MUST have either a Florida Driver’s License or Florida ID Card (for non-drivers only). You CANNOT keep a valid driver’s license from another state. For non-US Citizens, you must show a copy of your Permanent Resident Card or documentation of your “PRUCOL” asylum/refugee parole status in the U.S. Homesteads do not transfer. If you had Homestead on a previous property, you must file for a new Homestead Exemption if you purchase and move into a new permanent residence. It is unlawful to claim an exemption this year in your Florida County, if you or your married spouse are also claiming a Homestead or other permanent residency-based tax exemption or credit (like New York’s STAR program) this year in any other county, state or country.