Filing for Homestead Exemption in Florida

    Homestead Exemption Filing Information

    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 2018,  you’ll have until March 1, 2019, to file your homestead exemption. This page will give you a high-level overview of what you are going to need to do to file for Homestead Exemption in Florida. With that said, always seek legal advice from a Florida real estate attorney before filing for Homestead Exemption.

    Important Dates for Homes Purchased in 2018:

    • January 1, 2019: Exemption filing period opens for 2019 Homestead Exemptions.
    • March 1, 2019: Exemption filing period closes for 2019 Homestead Exemptions.
    • November 1, 2019: Tax bills for the 2019 calendar year are mailed to the current homeowner.

    NOTE: 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:

    It’s FREE and EASY! Do not fall for scams from companies who offer to file for you for a fee. You can file for the exemption with the county where your property is located either in person, online or via mail. Here is the information for the main local property appraiser offices in the areas served by CENTURY 21 OneBlue:

    Charlotte County Property Appraiser’s Office
    18500 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, Fl 33948
    941.743.1498 | ccappraiser.com

    Lake County Property Appraiser’s Office
    320 W. Main Street, Suite A, Tavares, FL 32778
    352.253.2150 | www.lakecountypropappr.org

    Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office
    2480 Thompson Street, 4th Floor, Fort Myers, FL 33901
    239.533.6100 | www.leepa.org

    Hillsborough County Property Appraiser’s Office
    601 E. Kennedy Boulevard, 15th Floor, Tampa, Florida 33602-4932
    813.272.6100 | www.hcpafl.org

    Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office
    915 4th Avenue West, Bradenton, Florida 34205
    941.748.8208 | www.manateepao.com

    Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office
    200 S Orange Ave, #17, Orlando, FL 32801
    407.836.5044 | www.ocpafl.org

    Osceola County Property Appraiser’s Office
    2505 E Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34744
    407.742.5000 | www.property-appraiser.org

    Pasco County Property Appraiser’s Office (Main Office)
    14236 6th St., Ste. 101, Dade City, FL 33523-3411
    352.521.4433 | www.pcpao.org

    Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s Office 
    315 Court Street. 2nd Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756
    727.464.3207 | www.pcpao.org

    Polk County Property Appraiser’s Office (Main Office)
    255 N Wilson Ave, Bartow, FL 33830
    863.534.4777 | www.polkpa.org

    Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office
    2001 Adams Lane, Sarasota, FL 34237
    941.861.8200 | sc-pa.com/

    Seminole County Property Appraiser’s Office
    1101 E 1st Street, Sanford, FL 32771
    407.665.7506 | www.scpafl.org

    Sumter County Property Appraiser’s Office
    218 E McCollum Ave, Bushnell, FL 33513
    352.569.6800 | www.sumterpa.com

    Please note that many county property appraisers have multiple offices and we have only listed the main office here on this list. Please contact each office to determine if there is a more convenient location near you.