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Florida Homestead Exemption Explained
If you moved into a new primary residence in 2016, you could save hundreds of dollars each year just by applying for a Florida Homestead Exemption. It is NOT automatically granted, you must apply for it.
Let me explain....
So What is an exemption?
What do I need to qualify?
The Florida statutes set strict requirements for eligibility in to the homestead exemption program. Below are the qualifications
You must be a permanent Florida resident
You must own and occupy the home as your permanent/primary residence
You must hold title or beneficial interest to the property
You must be a US citizen or hold a Permanent Residence Card
All of these requirements must be met as of January 1st of the year in which you are filing.
Under Florida Law, the homeowner must file for a Homestead exemption by March 1st of the tax year for which the exemption is sought. So, if you purchased your home in 2016, you must file by March 1st of 2017. If you purchased your home or closed on it after January 1st, 2017, you cannot qualify in the same year. However, don't put off the process. Apply for your exemption to begin in 2018.
Most Florida Counties offer online filing, but some still use paper applications, so don't put this off if you have to mail in your application. Contact your County Property Appraiser to inquire about their process.
Unless there is a change in ownership, residency or use of the property, your exemption automatically renews. However, if you fail to provide any of these changes, it could result in denial of exemptions or even a lien on the property.
Here is a sample of the application , take a moment to review and gather all the information
Other helpful info
There are other exemptions that you may want to research also. Additional exemptions are for those fully disabled, widow/widower and for those that have at least a 10% service related injury and others. You can find out more here.
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