Eligibility Requirements for the Florida Homestead Exemption
The tax savings could be significant, but not everyone is eligible. So, how do you qualify for a homestead exemption in Florida? You must meet specific criteria, including:
You must be the property owner.
The property must be your permanent residence OR the permanent residence of someone you can claim as a dependent on your taxes.
You must have been living in the home as of January 1st of the current tax year.
You must not have rented your homesteaded property for more than 30 days during a calendar year.
When you apply, you may need to provide a copy of your Florida driver’s license, Social Security number, declaration of domicile, and bank statement. The county appraiser may also request your vehicle registration, proof of Florida voter registration if you’re a U.S. citizen and your current employer’s name.
See more: Florida Homeowners Insurance Quotes
Do I have to apply for Homestead Exemption in Florida?
If you’re a first-time homeowner or have never received the Florida homestead exemption, you’re probably wondering how to get it.
You must submit an application the first year you’re eligible. The application is form DR-501, and it’s due to the property appraiser by March 1st of the tax year for which you want to receive the exemption.
You may apply online, by mail, or in person. To apply online, visit the website of your local county appraiser. You may need to establish an online account with a username and password to access and file the proper form.
To mail or file your homestead exemption application in person, submit by mail or bring all required forms and documentation to the local county property appraiser’s office. Use the state of Florida’s Department of Revenue directory to find your county official’s website, phone number, and address.
The good news is that you don’t have to submit a new application each year. The Florida statute requires your homestead status to renew automatically as long as you continue ownership and use it as your primary residence.
Florida homestead exemptions are an excellent way to reduce your property tax bill each year. However, the benefit can come with a lot of questions.
How long does the Florida Homestead Tax Exemption last?
Unless you cancel the homestead exemption, your tax savings automatically renew each year. The Florida homestead property exemption for real estate can last your entire lifetime under specific circumstances.
Each year, the county property appraiser will mail a receipt to confirm the renewal. You must contact the office if you no longer qualify for exempt status. For example, you’re no longer eligible if:
You sold or transferred title to someone else,
The home is not your permanent residence,
You rent the home for more than 30 days during the calendar year, or
You’re not a permanent resident of Florida
If you don’t notify the county appraiser of a change, you could face a homestead tax lien that includes a significant penalty and interest.