Filing for Homestead Exemption in Florida
When you buy a home in Florida, you have until March 1st of the year following the purchase to file for homestead exemption. For example, if you bought a home in 2020, you’ll have until March 1, 2021, to file your homestead exemption. This page will give you a high-level overview of what you are going to need to do to file for Homestead Exemption in Florida. With that said, always seek legal advice from a Florida real estate attorney before filing for Homestead Exemption.
Important Dates for Homes Purchased in 2020:
- January 1, 2021: The exemption filing period opens for 2021 Homestead Exemptions.
- March 1, 2021: Exemption filing period closes for 2021 Homestead Exemptions.
- November 1, 2021: Tax bills for the 2021 calendar year are mailed to the current homeowner.
NOTE: Keep in mind that if you have previously filed for Homestead Exemption on the property you live in, you don’t need to do it again. Homestead Exemption automatically renews every year on your primary residence.
Why you should file for a homestead exemption?
Homestead Exemption provides homeowner’s with several benefits including:
- Protection of the family (legal life estate)
- Protection of homestead from forced sale
- Tax exemption of up to $50,000
- Size restriction of the protected homestead is 160 acres outside the city or .5 acre within city
- Personal property protection ($1,000 value)
One of the biggest benefits most people know about is that Homestead Exemption can lower your property tax bill on your primary residence in Florida. In fact, Homestead Exemption lowers your assessed value by as much as $50,000, depending on the assessed value of your homestead. Here is how the Homestead Exemption benefit is calculated:
- Homes with an assessed value of up to $50,000: $25,000 base exemption
- Homes with an assessed value of $75,000 and higher: $50,000 ($25,000 base exemption + $25,000 additional exemption)
For homes with an assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000, your Homestead Exemption benefit is prorated. You get $1,000 for every $1,000 of assessed value over $50,000. For example, a home assessed at $60,000 would get the $25,000 base exemption plus an additional $10,000 exemption for a total of $35,000 in exemptions.
There are additional exemptions that apply to certain people as detailed in this list:
- Additional $500 Exemption: Surviving spouses, individuals who are legally blind, and non-veterans who are totally and permanently disabled.
- Additional $5,000 Exemption: Veterans with a service-related disability of at least 10% (applies to the surviving spouse who was married to the veteran at death and for 5-years preceding death.)
- 100% Exemptions (No Ad Valorem Taxes): Quadriplegics, veterans who have a service-connected 100% disability, and surviving spouses of a veteran who died while on active duty.
Save Our Homes Amendment
Another benefit of Homestead Exemption is the Save Our Homes Amendment to the state constitution. It limits the annual property tax increase to 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) annually, whichever is lower. Additionally, homeowners may transfer up to $500,000 of Save Our Homes benefit to their next homestead for up to two years!
Homestead Exemption Documentation Requirements:
Here are the documents you may need:
- Florida Voter’s Registration Card
- Florida Driver’s License
- Florida Vehicle Registration
- Recorded Warranty Deed for the Property
- Current Electrical Utility Bill (In your name with service prior to January 1st)
- Social Security Number (for all owners)
Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 must be obtained before January 1 of the year you file. You must reside in the property as of December 31st and must file for homestead exemption on or before March 1st. Bring all of the above for all owners appearing on the deed. If you do not vote, own a car, a Declaration of Domicile can prove Florida Residency. All applicants are required to sign the application for homestead exemption.
How to File for Homestead Exemption:
It’s FREE and EASY! Do not fall for scams from companies who offer to file for you for a fee. You can file for the exemption with the county where your property is located either in person, online or via mail. Here is the information for the main local property appraiser offices in the areas served by CENTURY 21 OneBlue:
Charlotte County Property Appraiser’s Office
18500 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, Fl 33948
941.743.1498 | ccappraiser.com
Lake County Property Appraiser’s Office
320 W. Main Street, Suite A, Tavares, FL 32778
352.253.2150 | www.lakecountypropappr.org
Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office
2480 Thompson Street, 4th Floor, Fort Myers, FL 33901
239.533.6100 | www.leepa.org
Hillsborough County Property Appraiser’s Office
601 E. Kennedy Boulevard, 15th Floor, Tampa, Florida 33602-4932
813.272.6100 | www.hcpafl.org
Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office
915 4th Avenue West, Bradenton, Florida 34205
941.748.8208 | www.manateepao.com
Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office
200 S Orange Ave, #17, Orlando, FL 32801
407.836.5044 | www.ocpafl.org
Osceola County Property Appraiser’s Office
2505 E Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34744
407.742.5000 | www.property-appraiser.org
Pasco County Property Appraiser’s Office (Main Office)
14236 6th St., Ste. 101, Dade City, FL 33523-3411
352.521.4433 | www.pcpao.org
Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s Office
315 Court Street. 2nd Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756
727.464.3207 | www.pcpao.org
Polk County Property Appraiser’s Office (Main Office)
255 N Wilson Ave, Bartow, FL 33830
863.534.4777 | www.polkpa.org
Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office
2001 Adams Lane, Sarasota, FL 34237
941.861.8200 | sc-pa.com/
Seminole County Property Appraiser’s Office
1101 E 1st Street, Sanford, FL 32771
407.665.7506 | www.scpafl.org
Sumter County Property Appraiser’s Office
218 E McCollum Ave, Bushnell, FL 33513
352.569.6800 | www.sumterpa.com
Please note that many county property appraisers have multiple offices and we have only listed the main office here on this list. Please contact each office to determine if there is a more convenient location near you.