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Frequently asked questions about the Florida homestead exemption

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2024 | Tax Law

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2022, 66.9% of those living in Florida’s 10,257,426 housing units were homeowners. For these families, the Florida homestead exemption can provide significant tax relief.

Newcomers to the Sunshine State and first-time homeowners often have questions about this program.

What is the Florida homestead exemption?

The Florida homestead exemption is a property tax benefit designed to reduce the tax burden on eligible homeowners. By claiming the exemption, qualified individuals can enjoy a reduction in the assessed value of their primary residence for tax purposes.

Who is eligible?

You must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the homestead exemption. The property must be your permanent residence and you must own and occupy it by January 1st of the tax year. Additionally, you must be a Florida resident.

How much can I save?

The homestead exemption can lead to significant savings on property taxes. The exemption covers up to $25,000 of the property’s assessed value, excluding school district taxes. This reassessment means a lower taxable value and, consequently, a reduction in property taxes.

Can I transfer my homestead exemption to a new property?

You can transfer the homestead exemption to a new property under certain conditions. If you sell your current homestead and purchase a new one within two years, you may be able to transfer the exemption. This portability allows homeowners to maintain their tax benefits when moving.

Are there any deadlines for filing?

Yes, there are deadlines for filing the homestead exemption. You must apply by March 1st to be eligible for the tax year. You must meet this deadline to ensure timely processing and approval.

It is important to understand and comply with the regulations governing the Florida homestead exemption. Claiming it under false pretenses is a misdemeanor that could cost you a $5,000 fine and up to one year in prison under Florida Statute 196.131.