Don’t Miss Out: Homestead Exemption Deadline March 1!

Purchased a home last year? If your property became your primary residence between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, it’s time to file for your Homestead Exemption. Filing for a Homestead Exemption is a critical step that not only slashes your tax bill but also keeps any increase under a 3% cap annually.

The deadline is fast approaching: March 1, 2024. Don’t leave money on the table!

Protect Your Home

Beyond savings, the Homestead Exemption offers a shield against certain creditors, ensuring your home stays yours even in tough times. While it can’t prevent foreclosure for mortgage defaults, it provides significant protection in other distressing scenarios, like the death of a spouse or bankruptcy.

Key Homestead Exemption Considerations:

● Tax Savings. Reduces state property taxes annually.

● Creditor Protection. Helps protect your home from some creditors.

● Surviving Spouse Relief. Offers property tax relief to qualifying surviving spouses.

● Primary Residence Only. Exemption applies exclusively to your main home.

Joint Ownership and Its Impact on the Homestead Exemption

When you own a home with someone else, the way your names are listed on the deed can make a big difference in your tax breaks, especially for the Homestead Exemption. Here’s a simple breakdown:

● Married Couples (Tenants by the Entirety) or Joint Owners (Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship): If one person applies for the Homestead Exemption, both could still benefit. If one owner passes away, the other automatically becomes the sole owner, which can keep the tax benefits rolling smoothly.

● Separate Shares (Tenants in Common): This is when each owner has their own slice of the property pie. If only one person applies for the tax break, it might not cover the whole property. And if one owner dies, their share doesn’t automatically go to the others; it can go to whoever they choose, which might affect your tax savings.

Because this can get tricky and could impact how much you save on taxes or protect your home, it’s a good idea to talk to a legal expert.

Save Our Homes (SOH) Assessment Limitation & Portability Transfer

If you’ve benefited from a Homestead Exemption in a previous year, you’re also covered by the SOH (Save Our Homes) cap. What does this mean? Simply, the SOH cap prevents your property’s assessed value from rising by more than 3% each year, or by the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI)—whichever is lower. This safeguard ensures your property’s value for tax purposes doesn’t skyrocket, helping you save on taxes over time.

But there’s more good news: this benefit is movable! If you buy a new home in Florida, you can transfer this tax-saving advantage to your new property, reducing its tax assessment. This process, known as “portability,” needs to be completed within three years of acquiring your new homestead. Just remember, you must submit the necessary form by March 1 to take advantage of this opportunity.

March 1st Is Approaching! Get Expert Help

Remember—the March 1 deadline is just around the corner. Act now to make sure you don’t miss out on the benefits of a Homestead Exemption. For general inquiries or more information on how property tax exemptions can impact your real estate investments, feel free to contact Boss Law’s team of real estate attorneys at (727) 877-3188. We’re committed to providing you with the information you need to secure every possible advantage for your investments.

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