Have you filed for your Homestead Exemption yet?  Time is running out.  Its very easy to do.  Here is an overview of what this exemption does for you and why you should apply asap!

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 2019,  you’ll have until March 1, 2020, to file your homestead exemption.

Important Dates for Homes Purchased in 2019:

  • January 1, 2020: Exemption filing period opens for 2020 Homestead Exemptions.
  • March 1, 2020: Exemption filing period closes for 2020 Homestead Exemptions.
  • November 1, 2020: Tax bills for the 2020 calendar year are mailed to the current homeowner.

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 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:

  1. Florida Voter’s Registration Card
  2. Florida Driver’s License
  3. Florida Vehicle Registration
  4. Recorded Warranty Deed for the Property
  5. Current Electrical Utility Bill (In your name with service prior to January 1st)
  6. 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:


ORANGE COUNTY https://www.ocpafl.org/exemptions/HX_FAQ.aspx

OSCEOLA COUNTY https://ira.property-appraiser.org/online/

SEMINOLE COUNTY https://www.scpafl.org/HomesteadandotherExemptions


If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Ben Stern




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Ben Stern

RE/MAX Prime Properties

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