Metes and Bounds Title Company is dedicated to providing our clients with all necessary information to secure a sound future beyond title service. As the end of the year approaches, we are taking the time to share about homestead exemptions and important dates. Continue reading below to learn more about when to file a Florida homestead exemption and how to file correctly.

What is a Florida Homestead Exemption?

A homestead exemption is a process that provides a tax exemption for up to $50,000 for persons who are permanent residents in the State of Florida and who hold legal or equitable title to the real property. This exemption comes with significant eligibility requirements for the file to be successful. Those that file must reach all criteria listed below:

  • You must own and occupy the home as your permanent residence before January 1st of the year you are applying.
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent U.S. Resident and a Florida resident as of January 1st.
  • You cannot claim or receive a tax exemption on any other property in the U.S.
  • You must completed and application and submit to the county office by the statutory deadline of March 1st. (Late or incomplete applications cannot and will not be accepted without a letter of extenuating circumstances).

A Florida homestead exemption protects homeowners from having to sell their home to satisfy the debts of non-property interest creditors. For example, a credit card company cannot force a person with a homestead exemption to sell their house. The exception is that a bank with a mortgage can still foreclose on the home if the homeowner does not pay their mortgage.

Florida Homestead Exemption

How to File

When all eligibility requirements are met, the homeowner must apply for all exemptions between January 1st and March 1st of the tax year. At the discretion of the property appraiser, a Florida homestead exemptions application may be accepted after March 1st. However, it will only apply to the succeeding tax year.

The application form and necessary proof of residence should be submitted to the property appraiser’s office by the deadline mentioned above to receive the homestead deduction on your Florida home. The form you must complete is the DR-501, and thanks to today’s technology, a homeowner can file in person or online.

Whether you complete this form online or in person, you will need to prove your residence in Florida and your residence at the address on the application. Also, don’t forget to bring along documents such as:

  • A Florida driver’s license or state I.D.
  • A Florida vehicle registration number.
  • A Florida voter’s I.D.
  • Immigration documents in the event of not being a U.S. citizen.

To access the homestead exemption applications throughout Central Florida and view other criteria visit:

Lake County:

https://www.lakecopropappr.com/exemptions_application.aspx

Sumter County:

https://app.sumterpa.com/homestead/

Orange County:

https://exemption.ocpafl.org/

Osceola County:

https://efile.property-appraiser.org/

Seminole County:

https://www.scpafl.org/HomesteadandotherExemptions

Polk County:

https://exemptions.polkpa.org/Account/LogOn

Metes and Bounds Title Company wants you to feel secure in all the steps you take to owning your property with confidence. Our team is dedicated to keeping you informed of homeownership advantages. Contact us today if you’re ready for a personalized experience during your closing!