Nobody likes paying taxes, so any chance to get them reduced seems like a win. In Florida, one of the ways you can save is through a tax exemption, the most common of which is the Homestead Exemption. If a property is your permanent residence and you are living there more that 6 months out of the year, then you should read further. Here are the key requirements:
- You need to own the property prior to January 1st and maintains it as his/her permanent residence is entitled to a $25,000 homestead property tax exemption or a percentage thereof
- If the ownership interest is less than 100%, you get the percentage of that $25k that you own.
- Only one homestead exemption shall be allowed to any individual or family unit.
- A taxpayer must make an application with the Property Appraiser before March 1st of the year in which the benefit is first requested. It is important to remember that the homestead exemption benefit does not automatically transfer to a new residence. In accordance with State law, a new application is required if you move or if you change the manner in which title is held on your existing homestead.
Additional Homestead Exemption Up to $25,000 – This additional homestead exemption is automatically applied to any property that receives the original $25,000 homestead tax exemption. However, the exemption is applied to the third $25,000 of the value of the home. To receive the full additional $25,000 homestead exemption the property’s assessed value must be at least $75,000.
Documents Required For All Owners Filing For Homestead Exemption
- Florida Driver’s License, or, if you do not drive, a Florida Identification Card;
- Florida Vehicle Registration, for at least one vehicles owned or leased by you, or registered to your business;
- Manatee County Voter Registration Card, if you are registered to vote;
Social Security card or other official document that includes the social security number.(Social Security documentation is required for the spouse of each applicant even if said spouse has no ownership interest in the homestead property);
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, a Permanent Resident Alien Card (“Green Card”);
- If property is in trust, a copy of the trust agreement or a copy of a recorded Memorandum of Trust;
- If the taxpayer owns property in any other State or Country, a letter from the appropriate agency verifying that the taxpayer does not receive benefits based on permanent residency in that jurisdiction;
- A copy of your recorded deed or tax bill for property identification purposes;
- If the dwelling is a manufactured home, registration(s) or title(s) for the manufactured home.
Other Types of Exemptions and Assessment Reductions Available on Homestead Property
$500 Widow/Widower Exemption – Must be a widow or widower prior to January 1st and cannot be remarried; must be a permanent resident of Florida and provide a copy of spouse’s death certificate to the Property Appraiser when applying; this exemption can be applied to any ONE property owned by the eligible person.
$500 Disability Exemption – Must be a permanent resident of Florida and provide a Physician’s Certificate from one Florida licensed doctor, or documentation from the Social Security Administration; this exemption can be applied to any ONE property owned by the eligible person.
$500 Exemption for Blind Persons – Must be a permanent resident of Florida and provide an Optometrist’s Certification of Disability, a certificate from the Division of Blind Services or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the Social Security Administration certifying the applicant to be blind; this exemption can be applied to any ONE property owned by the eligible person.
Exemption for Totally & Permanently Disabled Persons (Civilian) – Must be (1) a quadriplegic, or (2) a paraplegic, hemiplegic or other totally and permanently disabled person who is confined to a wheel chair for mobility or is legally blind and meets the income requirements as set forth by statute; must provide a Physician’s Certificate from two Florida licensed doctors; applies only to homestead property.
$5,000 Exemption for Disabled Veterans – Must be a Florida resident and have a service-connected disability rated between 10% and 100%; must provide a certificate from the United States Government or a letter from Veterans Affairs; under certain circumstances, the benefit of this exemption can carry over to the veteran’s surviving spouse (who is not remarried); this exemption can be applied to any ONE property owned by the eligible person.
Service-Connected Total & Permanent Disability Exemption – Veteran must be considered totally and permanently disabled due to a service-connected cause, or be the surviving spouse (who is not remarried) of a qualifying veteran; or the surviving spouse (who is not remarried) of a Florida resident veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty with the United States Armed Forces; must provide a certificate from the United States Government or a letter from Veterans Affairs, and may be requested to provide additional documents to prove the residency of a deceased veteran; this exemption applies only to homestead property.
Additional Exemption for Limited-Income Seniors 65 Years and Older – Must be 65 years old or older on January 1st and receive homestead exemption; must have an adjusted household income not exceeding approximately $28,400, which is adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index, and provided to the Property Appraiser’s office by the Department of Revenue in mid-January each year. An initial application must be filed with the Property Appraiser’s office together with a copy of the prior year’s Federal income tax returns if filed, and any wage and earning statements (W-2, 1099); an annual affirmation of income is required.
Homestead Tax Discount for Veterans Age 65 or Older with a Combat-Related Disability Must be 65 years old or older on January 1st; must be honorably discharged from military service, and must have a service-connected disability of 10% or higher that is combat related. The discount is equal to the percentage of combat-related disability as determined by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
Deployed Military Exemption – Available to service members who receive homestead exemption and who were deployed during the preceding calendar year on active duty outside the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii in connection with a designated military operation. The Property Appraiser’s Office will advise as to the designated military operations. The amount of the exemption is determined by the number of days deployed. An application must be filed with the Property Appraiser’s office on or before March 1st of the year following the qualified deployment, together with documentation proving the dates of deployment.