Florida Residents, It’s Time to File Homestead Exemption

If you own a home in Florida and live in it as your primary residence, then Florida law may allow you a $25,000 tax exemption on the assessed value of the property. If you purchased the property in 2013, then it is time for you to file for homestead, as it doesn’t automatically transfer to a new owner, at the start of the new year. An application must be filed. After that, the exemption automatically renews, if you remain eligible.

Homestead exemption may allow a Florida homeowner a savings of approximately $450 on their yearly tax bill. And, some homeowners may be entitled to an additional $25,000 in exemption for a total of $50,000, on the assessed value of their property. Check online to see whether you are eligible and if there are any other exemptions applicable to you.

New homeowners may apply for homestead between January 1 and March 1, for the first time. You must have purchased your home prior to December 31, 2013 and it must be considered your primary residence. The deadline to register this year is March 3, 2014.  If you don’t do so by then,  you may lose your rights to homestead for that year.

In order to file you will need:

Florida Driver’s License, or, if you do not drive, a Florida Identification Card;      

Florida Vehicle Registration, for all vehicles owned or leased by you, or registered to your business;

Brevard County Voter Registration Card, if you are registered to vote;

Social Security card or other official document that includes the social security number. (Social Security documentation is required for the spouse of each applicant even if said spouse has no ownership interest in the homestead property);

If you are not a U.S. citizen, a Permanent Resident Alien Card ("Green Card");

If property is in trust, a copy of the trust agreement or a copy of a recorded Memorandum of Trust;

If the taxpayer owns property in any other State or Country, a letter from the appropriate agency verifying that the taxpayer does not receive benefits based on permanent residency in that jurisdiction;

A copy of your recorded deed or tax bill for property identification purposes;

If the dwelling is a manufactured home, registration(s) or title(s) for the manufactured home.

In some cases an owner can file for homestead online. Check the website as there are certain circumstances in which you will not be allowed to file for homestead exemption online.

There are other exemptions available, be sure to check to see if you are eligible for any of them.

If you have questions, contact the Brevard County Property Appraisers office at 321-255-4440.

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