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Serving South Florida

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For over 35 years

Posts Tagged ‘homestead exemption’

2016 Florida Homestead Exemption Reminder

It’s not too early to file for a property tax exemption for next year;  filing now
will allow Florida  property owners to beat the rush that normally occurs early in the year
as people try to beat the March 1 deadline.


Any Florida property owner with legal title to a home and who uses it as his or 
her permanent, primary residence by Jan. 1 is eligible for this exemption.   Homeowners
making their first claim at this time should contact their respective county property
appraiser’s office to find out how best to file for the exemption — many offices
offer applications online or will mail applications to residents. Homeowners may
also file for a homestead exemption in person, bringing along the deed to their
property or a property tax bill — something to prove they own the home. Most property
appraisers’ offices will accept applications for homestead exemption until the March
1 deadline. Please call your local county property appraiser’s office to find out
more.Visit the link found on my web site for contact information.

https://www.optimaproperties.com/south-florida-resources

Here are the criteria to see if you qualify and the documentation you will need 
to provide along with your application:

$25,000 Homestead Exemption

Every person who has legal or equitable title to real property in the State of Florida
and who resides thereon and in good faith makes it his or her permanent home is 
eligible to file for Homestead Exemption. First time applicants are required to 
furnish their social security number, and should have available evidence of ownership(
i.e., deed, contract, etc. )  If title is held by the husband alone, a wife may 
file for him, with his consent, and vice versa. If filing for the first time, be
prepared to answer these and other questions:


1. In whose name or names was the title to the dwelling recorded as of January 1st?
2. What is the street address of the property?
3. Are you a legal resident of the State of Florida? (A Certificate of Domicile 
or Voter’s Registration will be proof if dated prior to January 1st.)
4. Do you have a Florida license plate on your car and a Florida driver’s license?
5. Were you living in the dwelling which is being claimed for homestead exemption
on January 1st?

Additional $25,000 Homestead Exemption for persons 65 and older

Every person who is eligible for the homestead exemption described above is eligible
for an additional homestead exemption up to $25,000 under the following circumstances:
(1) the county or municipality adopts an ordinance that allows the additional homestead
exemption which applies only to the taxes levied by the unit of government granting
the exemption; (2) the taxpayer is 65 years of age or older on January 1 of the 
year for which the exemption is claimed; (3) the annual household income of the 
taxpayer (defined as the adjusted gross income as defined in s. 62, United States
Internal Revenue Code of all members of a household) for the prior year does not
exceed $20,000 (beginning January 1, 2001, this income threshold is adjusted annually
by the percentage change in the average cost-of-living index); and, (4) the taxpayer
annually submits a sworn statement of household income to the property appraiser
not later than March 1.

$500 Widow’s Exemption

Any widow who is a permanent Florida resident may claim this exemption. If the widow
remarries, she is no longer eligible. If the husband and wife were divorced before
his death, the woman is not considered a widow. You may be asked to produce a death
certificate when filing for the first time.

$500 Widower’s Exemption

Any widower who is a permanent Florida resident may claim this exemption. If the
widower remarries he is no longer eligible. If the husband and wife were divorced
before her death, the man is not considered a widower. You may be asked to produce
a death certificate when filing for the first time.

$500 Disability Exemption

Every Florida resident who is totally and permanently disabled qualifies for this
exemption. If filing for the first time, please present at least one of the following
as proof of your disability: A certificate from a licensed Florida physician or 
a certificate from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

$5000 Disability Veteran

Any ex-service member disabled at least 10% in war or by service-connected misfortune
is entitled to a $5000 exemption. If filing for the first time, please present a
certificate from the United States Government.

$500 Exemption for blind persons

Every Florida resident who is blind qualifies for this exemption. If claiming exemption
based on blindness, a certificate from the Division of Blind Services of the Department
of Education or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the Federal 
Social Security Administration certifying the applicant to be blind is required.
“Blind person” is defined as an individual having central vision acuity 20/200 
or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or a disqualifying field defect
in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter
or visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than twenty degrees.

Service-connected total and permanent disability exemption

Any honorably discharged veteran with a service-connected total and permanent disability,
surviving spouses of qualifying veterans and spouses of Florida resident veterans
who died from service-connected causes while on active duty as a member of the United
States Armed forces are entitled to an exemption on real estate used and owned as
a homestead less any portion thereof used for commercial purposes.

Persons entitled to this exemption must have been a permanent resident of this state
as of January 1st of the year of assessment.

Under certain circumstances the benefit of this exemption can carry over to the 
veteran’s spouse in the event of the veteran’s death. Consult your appraiser for
details.

If filing for the first time, please bring a certificate from the United States 
Government or United States Department of Veterans Affairs as your proof of a service-connected
disability or death of your spouse while on active duty.

Exemption for totally and permanently disabled persons


1. Any real estate used and owned as a homestead, less any portion thereof used 
for commercial purposes by any quadriplegic shall be exempt from taxation.
2. Any real estate used and owned as a homestead, less any portion thereof used 
for commercial purposes, by a paraplegic, hemiplegic or other totally and permanently
disabled person, as defined in Section 196.012(10), F.S., who must use a wheelchair
for mobility or who is legally blind, shall be exempt from taxation.

Persons entitled to the exemption under number two (2) above, must be a permanent
resident of the State of Florida as of January 1st of the year of assessment. Also,
the prior year gross income of all persons residing in or upon the homestead shall
not exceed the amount of income, set forth in section 196.101(4), F.S., adjusted
annually by the percentage change of the average cost of living index issued by
the United States Department of Labor. Gross income shall include United States
Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and any social security benefits paid to
the person. A statement of gross income must accompany the application.

If filing for the first time, please bring a certificate from two (2) licensed doctors
of this state or a certificate (per s. 196.091, F.S.) from the United States Department
of Veterans Affairs.

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Florida Homestead Exemption Advantages

The obvious advantages to residing in Florida is the weather and no state income taxes.  Another lesser known, but equally as important, advantage is Florida’s homestead laws.

“Homestead” can be a deceptively complex issue in estate and tax planning when individauls finally decide to become Florida residents, including asset protection, property tax savings, and restrictions on the estate plan.

Florida’s asset protection for homesteads is anchored in the state’s constitution (Article X, Section 4). Homestead property owned by a natural person is protected from forced sale under process of any court or judgment lien (except for obligations relating to the real estate itself, such as property taxes, mortgage principal and interest, and contractors’ liens).

The asset protection for homestead includes land and improvements on the land, with an acreage limit of up to 160 contiguous acres outside a municipality, and one-half acre inside a municipality.

Florida also offers two sorts of property tax savings for homestead property: (1) the “$50,000 exemption and (2) the “Save Our Homes” limit on annual property tax increases.

The “$50,000 exemption” is a reduction of up to $50,000 in the assessed value of the homestead property. A homeowner can apply for this exemption by filing a Form DR-501 at the county appraiser’s office.

The $50,000 homestead exemption is helpful as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far.  The Save our Homes” advantages for homestead property approved by Florida’s voters as a constitutional amendment in 1992 are much more economically significant. ” Save our Homes” limits annual increases in property assessments to the lesser of 3% or the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index.  Over time, especially when Florida’s real estate market is appreciating, annual “Save Our Homes” advantages can be substantial.