Homestead + 14 Other Property Tax Exemptions

Do I qualify?  If by January 1, your property is either your permanent home, or the permanent home of a person who is legally or naturally your dependent, you may qualify for up to $50,000.00 of Homestead Exemption to reduce your property tax bill.

How many properties? If you or your spouse have a homestead exemption on another property, you’re personally ineligible.

Filing Deadlines?  For 2020 exemptions, file between March 2, 2019 and March 1, 2020.  But, if you can show inability to timely file or other extenuating circumstances, late filings for 2020 may be allowed up to September 18, 2020.  For 2019 exemptions, you’re too late (that deadline ended March 1, 2018).

How to file? Online in Miami-DadeBroward, and West Palm Beach.

Who files?  For married couples (“Tenants by the Entirety”) or Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship (“JTWROS”), any one owner may qualify for 100% coverage.  For owners such as Tenants in Common (e.g. co-owners by percentage), each occupying owner must file according to their proportional interest (e.g. $40,000 property with residing owner’s interest being 25%, means $10,000 of homestead exemption is all that is applied).

Portability?  Owners can transfer their “Save Our Homes” benefit earned on a previous homestead property to their new homestead property. If you are applying for a new homestead exemption and held a homestead exemption on a previous property within the last 2 tax-years in Florida, you should also submit a portability application with your homestead application.

Other Property Tax Exemptions? 

(1) “Granny Flat Exemption” – 20% of improvement;

  • Homesteaded property owners adding living quarters for a parent or grandparent can have all or part of the value of this new construction deducted from the assessment. General requirements: Parent or grandparent not an owner; 62 or older as of Jan. 1; No residency benefit elsewhere, Max reduction allowable is 20% of the total assessed value as improved; Granny Flat Applications is due by March 1st and must be renewed annually.

(2) Widow – $500

  • Florida grants an additional $500 exemption to widows and widowers. Submit a copy of the deceased spouse’s death certificate. If the surviving spouse remarries, they are no longer eligible to receive the additional exemption. You must be a widow/widower prior to January 1st of the tax year. Nice try but Divorced persons do not qualify for the exemption.

(3) Seniors with low income (< $30,174/yr)

  • Seniors 65+ with income below the limit set by the Florida Department of Revenue. The income limitation amount is available in mid-January of each year. In 2019 the income limit was $30,174 (excluding tax-exempt bond interest and non-taxable social security income). Copies of Federal 1040 or Social Security 1099 Form may be needed. Must be renewed annually.

(4) Blind – $500

  • Blind persons may qualify for an additional $500 exemption, verification required.

(5) Total Disability (no wheelchair) – $500

  • Civilian property owners with a total and permanent disability but who do not require a wheelchair for mobility, and exceed an income limit may be eligible for an additional $500 exemption. They must be currently certified to be totally and permanently disabled by a physician licensed in this state, or by the Social Security Administration.

(6) Total Disability (wheelchair bound) – 100%

  • Civilians who are totally and permanently disabled and confined to a wheelchair.

(7) Veteran (Disability is 10% or more) – $5,000

  • $5,000.00. If service-related disability is to a degree of 10% or more and incurred during a period of wartime service or by misfortune before January 1. Surviving spouse (who has not remarried) may also claim this exemption.

(8) Veteran and spouses (Total Disability) – 100%

  • 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 US Armed Forces.

(9) Veteran (Combat wounded) – Equal to % of combat related disability

  • Additional discount from the amount of property taxes on the homestead of a partially or totally permanently disabled veteran, age 65+ as of January 1, and whose disability was combat-related. Total exemption from property taxes equal to percentage (%) of combat-related disability.

(10) Veteran – Deployed Military

  • US Service members of any branch of the U.S. Military, Coast Guard and Florida National Guard deployed during the preceding calendar year on active duty outside the United States. Must be renewed annually. Total exemption to an additional percentage assessed value, based upon the percent of the prior year deployed overseas.

(11) Veteran’s Surviving Spouse – 100%

  • Full homestead property tax relief to the surviving spouses of military veterans who die from service-connected causes while on active duty.

(12) First Responder and spouse (Total Disability)

  • First responder (law enforcement, correctional, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or paramedic) employed by a Florida Agency when he or she was injured who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in the line of duty receives ad valorem tax relief equal to the total amount ad valorem taxes owed on homestead property. The exemption carries over to the benefit of the surviving spouse who does not remarry.

(13) First Responder’s Surviving Spouse – 100%

  • Full homestead property tax relief to the surviving spouses of surviving spouses of police, fire fighters and other first responders who die in the line of duty who die from service-connected causes.

(14) Historic Property.

  • National or Florida Registers Historic Properties may qualify for special exemptions related to the assessed value.

DISCLAIMER:  Topics discussed are general concepts, not intended to constitute legal advice, accuracy, nor completeness, and may not be relied upon as such; consult an attorney or accountant.  The author Randy Gilbert, J.D. is neither an attorney nor an accountant.  FTIC is a national award winning title insurance company known for its white glove customer service and “No Junk Fee Guarantee.” ®