With the end of the year rolling around, now is the time to set yourself up for a Florida homestead exemption for the next tax year. Starting next year, this exemption gives permanent residents a deduction of $50,000 from your home’s assessed value, as well as qualifying you for additional benefits.
If you have lived in your home for more than a year and have previously had a homestead exemption, you don’t need to do anything.
If you’ve moved in the last year, however, or are about to close on a home, you must take steps to ensure you get this deduction for the coming tax year.
First, you must close on your home no later than December 31st. Then, you must take steps to demonstrate that this is your permanent home, such as changing your address on your driver’s license.
Before March 1st, you must officially file for this exemption with the Tax Appraiser’s Office. (Find your local office at http://floridarevenue.com/dor/property/appraisers.html).
Properties granted a homestead exemption also automatically qualify for the “Save Our Homes” benefit, which limits the increase in assessed value in future years to either 3% or the Consumer Price Index change, whichever is lower, in the second consecutive year the exemption is received (unless you add an addition or do other major construction). If you had homestead and Save Our Homes with a previous home, you must buy a new one within two years if you want to transfer your old benefits to the new home.
Homeowners who want to add an adult child or other relative to their deed must be careful to do so in a way that doesn’t jeopardize their homestead. If you don’t do it right and lose your homestead, your assessed value for tax purposes will jump to the fair market value. Having an experienced real estate attorney make this change will ensure this doesn’t happen.
For a FREE consultation to discuss these and other real estate issues, contact the Law Office of Gary M. Landau by email or call 954-979-6566. Attorney Gary Landau personally returns all calls to him.