BCPA - Homestead
Filing for Homestead and Other Exemptions
All legal Florida residents
are eligible for a Homestead Exemption on their homes, condominiums, co-op apartments,
and certain mobile home lots if they qualify. The Florida Constitution provides
this tax-saving exemption on the first and third $25,000 of the assessed value of an owner/occupied
residence. While a complicated formula is used to explain this -- as the additional $25,000 only
applies to the non-schools portion of your tax bill -- the bottom line is that the basic homestead
exemption saved a Broward homeowner in 2013 anywhere from $640 to $1,152 (depending upon your city's
millage rate) in annual tax savings for all homes with a value of $75,000 or higher.
You are entitled to a Homestead
Exemption if, as of January 1st, you have made the property your permanent home
or the permanent home of a person who is legally or naturally dependent on you.
By law, January 1 of each year is the date on which permanent residence is
You may file
for Homestead ONLINE
by clicking the large yellow button in the navigation menu on the top left side
of this page ... or you may file by visiting our office or at any of our community outreach events held throughout Broward.
timely filing period for Homestead Exemption for 2015 is March 2, 2014 through
March 2, 2015. The absolute deadline to LATE FILE for any 2015 exemption -- if you miss the March 2 timely filing deadline -- is September 18, 2015. State law (Sec. 196.011(8), Fla. Stat.) does not allow late filing for exemptions after this date, regardless of any good cause reason for missing the late filing deadline.
What You Need When Filing for Homestead
When filing an
application you must bring the following items listed below. To claim 100% coverage,
all owners occupying the property as Tenants in Common (i.e., proportional share
co-owners) must file in person on jointly held property. In the case of a husband/wife
("Tenants by the Entirety") or Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship
("JTRS"), any one owner may qualify for 100% coverage -- although
it is always highly advisable to have all eligible owner-occupants to
Proof of Ownership:
In general, the recorded Deed or Co-op Proprietary Lease must be held in the name(s) of the individuals applying for Homestead. You do not need to bring a copy of the deed or co-op lease if the document has already been recorded in the Official Records of Broward County. If the PROPERTY IS HELD IN A TRUST, WE ALSO NEED EITHER A NOTARIZED CERTIFICATE OF TRUST OR A COMPLETE
COPY OF THE TRUST AGREEMENT. Note: Most taxpayers prefer to use the simple Certificate of Trust form, instead of submitting the entire trust for our review, as it better protects the privacy of your estate planning and other financial matters.
Proof of Permanent Florida Residence --
preferably dated prior to January 1 of the tax year for which you are filing
-- is established in the form of:
- FOR ALL APPLICANTS: Florida's Driver's License (or -- for non-drivers only -- a Florida I.D. Card) is REQUIRED. Note: You must surrender to DMV any out-of-state regular driver's license.
You MUST also have either of the following:
- Florida Voter's Registration; or
- Recorded Declaration of Domicile.
- FOR NON-US CITIZENS, you MUST have the items listed above AND proof of permanent residency, asylum/parolee
status (or other "PRUCOL" status); OR proof you are the parent of a US-born (US Citizen) minor child who resides with you.
If you or your married spouse have a Homestead Exemption in any other county, state or country (or
an equivalent permanent residency-based exemption or tax credit, such as New York's "S.T.A.R." exemption)
on another property you also currently own, you will NOT be eligible for
a homestead in Broward until after you surrender the exemption in that other jurisdiction.
(Note: If you know of someone with a Homestead Exemption in Broward who
also maintains an exemption on another property elsewhere, please report this
information to our Fraud Investigations Section at 954.357.6900.)
application form requests certain information for all owners living on the premises
- Current employers of
- Addresses listed on
last I.R.S. income tax returns.
- Date of each owner's
permanent Florida residence.
- Date of occupancy for
each property owner.
- Social Security numbers
of all owners filing.
- Social Security number of any married spouse of the applicant, even if the spouse is not named in the deed and is not filing).
Note: The amount of the homestead exemption protection granted to an owner residing on a particular property is to be applied against the amount of that person's interest in the property. This provision is limited in that the proportional amount of the homestead exemption allowed any person shall not exceed the proportionate assessed valuation based on the interest owned by the person. For example, assuming a property valued at $40,000, with the residing owner's interest in the property being $20,000, then $20,000 of the homestead exemption is all that can be applied to that property. If there are multiple owners, all as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, the owner living at property filing receives the full exemption.
For more info about the Homestead, Low-Income Senior, Disability, Widow/Widower, and Disabled Veteran Exemptions, please contact our Customer Service & Exemptions Division:
Call 954.357.6830 or
permanently disabled persons, and qualified senior citizens on fixed-incomes
are entitled to additional tax-saving exemptions. With the exception of the
$5,000 Veteran's Disability Exemption and the Historic Property Exemption, a Homestead Exemption is required by law as a pre-condition
for obtaining any of the following additional exemptions:
One letter or certificate from a Florida-licensed physician stating that you are totally and permanently
Spouse's death certificate, newspaper clipping or memorial card.
Low-Income Senior Exemption:
Filing period is January 1 through March 1 of each year. Applicant must
be 65 years of age or older as of January 1 (even if other household members are under age 65) and the total household adjusted
gross income for last year (2013) must not exceed $27,994. This exemption must be applied for annually (and the annual renewal process is fast and easy). For additional information,
please click here.
Veteran's Disability Exemption:
A copy of your Certificate of Disability from the U.S. Government or the
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (or its predecessor agency). The disability
must be military service-related and incurred during a period of wartime
service or by misfortune. The service-related disability must be to a degree
of at least 10% before January 1. The surviving spouse of an
eligible disabled veteran may also claim this exemption, provided he/she
has not remarried. Note: The veteran must be a permanent resident of the State of Florida. For surviving spouses, the deceased veteran must have been a permanent resident of Florida at the time of his/her death.
Exemption for Veteran's Service-Connected Total and Permanent Disability:
certificate from the US Government or US Department of Veterans Affairs.
Any honorably discharged veteran with a service-connected total and permanent
disability, surviving spouses of qualifying veterans and spouses of Florida
resident veterans who died from service-connected causes while on active
duty as a member of the US Armed Forces are entitled to an exemption on
real estate used and owned as a homestead.
Deployed Military Exemption: US military documentation which clearly shows the applicant's dates of active duty military service deployed outside the United States during the immediate prior year in support of one of the designated military operations (Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle). This exemption requires the holder to submit new supporting documentation each year to retain these valuable savings. This exemption grants total exemption to an additional percentage of your assessed value, based upon the percent of the prior year you were deployed overseas in support of one of the specified military operations.
Additional Exemption for Combat-Wounded Florida Disabled Veterans: This exemption provides an additional discount from the amount of property taxes on the homestead of a partially or totally permanently disabled veteran, age 65 or older as of January 1, and whose disability was combat-related. Under this law, an eligible veteran will receive a total exemption from property taxes equal to the percentage of combat-related disability (example: a 60% combat-related disability would exempt 60% of the total value of the homesteaded residence from ad valorem property taxes). Please provide us with documented proof your disability was combat related (i.e., copy of Purple Heart Medal award paperwork), and a
certificate from the US Government or US Department of Veterans Affairs attesting to the percentage of your permanent disability. Note: Florida law does not provide for a surviving spouse exemption in this category.
Disability Exemption for Blind Persons:
A certificate from the Division of Blind Services of the Department of Education
or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs certifying the applicant
to be blind is required.
Full Exemption for Totally and Permanently Disabled Persons:
Certificates from two licensed doctors of this state or a certificate
from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. To be entitled to this exemption,
you must be a (1) quadriplegic or (2) paraplegic, hemiplegic or
other totally and permanently disabled person who must use a wheelchair
for mobility or who is legally blind. For persons entitled to
this exemption under number two (2) above, the prior year (2013) gross income
of all persons residing in or upon the homestead shall not exceed $27,289.
This amount is adjusted annually and a statement of gross income must accompany
Surviving Spouse of Military Veteran or First Responder:
Grants full homestead property tax relief to the surviving spouses of military veterans who die from service-connected causes while on active duty,
and to the surviving spouses of police, fire fighters and other first responders who die in the line of duty.
In short, the surviving spouses deemed eligible will not pay any property taxes. For a spouse to be eligible,
the deceased veteran or first responder must have been a permanent resident of Florida as of Jan. 1 of the year he or she died.
That same residency requirement applies to the surviving spouses of first responders. First responders are defined as law enforcement officers,
correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. The amendment covers full-time, part-time or volunteer first responders.
Surviving spouses of veterans or first responders who died years ago can apply for eligibility retroactively, although the tax relief is for future taxes only;
they will not receive refunds for any past taxes paid. Applicants must provide a copy of the first responder’s death certificate as well as an obituary,
news article, statement from employing agency or other verification of line of duty death.
Flat" Exemption - Taxpayers who build additions onto an existing Homestead or perform extensive renovations to an existing Homestead to provide living quarters for a parent
or grandparent may be entitled to a special exemption equal to the amount
of the new construction (up to 20% of the homestead value). To be eligible,
the property owner must have a Homestead Exemption on the property where
the parent or grandparent quarters are constructed. The construction or
reconstruction must be properly permitted and comply with all local land
development regulations. Copies of all permits, certificate of occupancy,
and plans must be submitted to the Property Appraiser’s Office. Construction
or reconstruction must be substantially complete before January 1st of the year in which the reduction is requested. Application
must be filed with the Property Appraiser’s Office annually on or
before March 1st of each year. The occupant(s) of the quarters must be a
parent or grandparent. The occupant(s) must be at least 62 years of age
by January 1st of the year in which the reduction is requested. The occupant(s)
must permanently reside on the property on or before January 1st. of the
year in which the reduction is requested. The occupant(s) cannot receive
any benefits requiring a declaration of permanent residency on any other
property in any other County or State. The Broward County Property Appraiser’s
Office will conduct a site visit annually upon review and prior to approval
of the application for assessment reduction. You may download the Granny Flat application here
For more info about the Granny Flat Exemption, please contact
Exemptions Specialist Bob Wolfe:
or call 954.357.6871
Property Exemption - Is your property on the National or Florida Registers
of Historic Properties? Then, under certain circumstance, you may be entitled
to some special exemptions related to your assessed value. Click here
(for historic properties in general) and here
(for historic properties open to the public) to read the applicable statutes.
Click here to download the historic property exemption application
form (PDF format).
For more info about the Historic Property Exemption, please contact
Exemptions Specialist Bob Wolfe:
or call 954.357.6871
Non-Profit, Religious, Educational & Governmental Exemptions - Click here to learn more.
Exemptions are NOT Transferable ... But You Can Move Your Savings with Portability AND a new Homestead Application
Homestead Exemption does
not transfer from property to property. If you had this exemption last
year on another property and moved, you must file a new application for
your new residence. Notify the Property Appraiser to cancel the exemptions on
your former home. The sellers' exemptions will not carry over beyond the year of the sale: you
MUST apply for your own exemptions.
Florida's Portability law allows property owners to transfer their “Save Our Homes” benefit earned on a previous Homestead property to their new Homestead property. If you are applying for a new Homestead Exemption AND you held a Homestead Exemption on a previous property within the last 2 tax-years anywhere in Florida, you should also submit a Portability application with your Homestead application. Note: a Portability application transfers any tax savings you have earned, but it does NOT transfer your Homestead Exemption from one property to another. You MUST first apply for a Homestead Exemption in order to be eligible for Portability. Click here to begin the online Homestead application process and you will automatically be prompted to print and complete a Portability application if your application information indicates you held an eligible Homestead Exemption on a previous Florida property.
For more info about Portability, please contact
Portability Coordinator Yolanda Gotowko:
or call 954.357.6927
Receipts, Renewals, and Changes that Cause Ineligibility.
initial application for the Homestead Exemption has been made and the exemption
has been granted, a receipt will be mailed to you each year in early January to verify that the status, use and ownership has not changed.
If you do
not receive this renewal receipt from us by March 1, failure to contact this
office may result in the loss of your Homestead Exemption for the year
A new application
is required if your property has been sold or otherwise disposed of, or the
ownership or use changes, or when the holder(s) of the Homestead Exemption
ceases to reside on the property as a permanent resident.
Homestead Renewal Receipt does not pertain to any of the other exemptions and/or
If you no longer qualify: The law requires YOU to notify the Property
Appraiser's office to remove that exemption by March 1. Strong penalties --
going back as far as ten years of back taxes, plus 50% penalties and 15% interest --
may be imposed on those who do not tell the Property Appraiser to remove exemptions
for which they are no longer qualified. Here are a few examples:
- If you have rented out
your property, you
likely forfeit your right to claim a Homestead Exemption (click here to view the applicable statute).
- If you were
receiving a widow's or widower's exemption and remarry, you would no longer
be entitled to that exemption.
- If the homesteaded owner dies and the property continues to claim the exemption in future years in the name of the deceased owner.
- You change your voter registration and driver's license to another residence.
- If you or your married spouse is simultaneously claiming homestead (or any other permanent-residency based tax exemption or credit) on any other property anywhere else in the world.
and other qualified individuals with disabilities who cannot readily leave
their home to visit one of our offices may also file for a Homestead Exemption.
Please call: 954.357.6035 to arrange for a visit from our Homebound
For more info about BCPA Outreach activities, please contact
Manager Kelly Brown:
or call 954.357.6035