Don’t Forget to File for Florida Homestead Tax Exemption

The deadline to file is March 1, 2022. Failure to timely file constitutes a waiver of your entitlement to the tax savings for the year!

Homeowners in Florida may be entitled to a substantial tax benefit known as the Florida Homestead Tax Exemption, which is a two-pronged benefit in the form of:

  1. An exemption of up to $50,000.00 off the taxable value of the homestead property, and
  2. A 3% annual limit on any increase to the assessed value of the homestead property for tax purposes (known as the “Save Our Homes” cap).

If you just purchased your residence in 2021, you will need to apply for the homestead exemption for the first time in 2022. Once in place, you may not need to reapply each year, but this might vary by county. Also, note that because the exemption is granted to the owner and not to the property, even if your sellers enjoyed a homestead tax exemption on the property in 2021, you will have to apply for the exemption in 2022. If you fail to timely file for the exemption, you are waiving your entitlement to the exemption for the year.

Thankfully, many county property appraiser offices provide an online application process, and this includes the property appraiser offices in both Manatee and Sarasota Counties. This is good news for clients and customers of Battaglia Law, PLLC, as many of the properties that the firm performs real estate closing services for are located in either Sarasota or Manatee County.

Click here for the Manatee County Property Appraiser online homestead exemption application

Click here for the Sarasota County Property Appraiser online homestead exemption application

Below is some helpful information provided by the Florida Department of Revenue regarding what you might expect during the application process:

If you are filing for the first time, be prepared to answer these questions:
  • Whose name or names were on the title on January 1?
  • What is your social security number and your spouse’s social security number?
  • Were you or your dependent living in the dwelling on January 1?
  • Do you claim residency in another county or state?
Your property appraiser may ask for any of the following items to prove your residency:
  • Proof of previous residency outside Florida and date ended
  • Florida driver license or identification card number
  • Evidence of giving up driver license from another state
  • Florida vehicle license plate number
  • Florida voter registration number (if US citizen)
  • Declaration of domicile and residency date
  • Name of current employer
  • Address listed on your last IRS return
  • Dependent children’s school location(s)
  • Bank statement and checking account mailing address
  • Proof of payment of utilities at homestead address

Married couples filing for homestead exemption might be required to complete the application during the same application session. If you are married AND your spouse is NOT filing for homestead exemption, you might be asked to provide the following information:

  • Name of spouse
  • Spouse’s Social Security Number
  • Spouse’s Date of birth
  • Spouse’s Florida Driver License or Florida Identification Card number (if applicable)
  • Spouse’s primary residence address & residency-based exemptions/discount information

The above may not be an exhaustive list so you should always check with the property appraiser office in the county where your property is located for the specific requirements and procedures for the application process. And, most importantly, do not wait until the last minute, or you run the risk of missing the deadline and having to wait until next year to apply.