The Clock’s Ticking: Apply Now to Save on Taxes

Save MoneyIt’s an important time of year for Florida homeowners: homestead application time. When you own a property as your permanent residence, you may be eligible to receive a property tax exemption of up to $50,000 and reap one of the many benefits of homeownership.

If you don’t apply between January 1 and March 1, you will lose your eligibility for the year and miss out on substantial savings on your real estate taxes. In order to qualify, you must meet certain minimum criteria as of January 1:

–You must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
–You must own the property.
–You must occupy the property as a permanent residence (to the exclusion of all others).

There are several benefits to applying for homestead exemption. The first is a cap on annual property tax increases. After the first year a home receives a homestead exemption and the property appraiser assesses it at market value, the assessment for each following year can’t increase by more than 3% or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less, known as the “Save Our Homes” (SOH) assessment limitation.

Another benefit of applying for homestead exemption is portability. If you move within the State of Florida from your previous homestead property to what will be your new homestead property, you may be able to transfer your SOH benefit, thereby lowering the taxes for your new homestead. In a nutshell, you can take the benefit with you to your new home. If you’ve moved recently and are interested in calculating what your taxes might come out to, check out the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s Tax Estimator. And for additional information on the homestead property tax exemption, including proof of residency requirements, visit the Florida Department of Revenue website HERE.

As with application deadlines, don’t put off to tomorrow what you can take care of today. Whether you’re interested in selling or purchasing a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m ready to work with you.