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How to Apply for the Florida Homestead Tax Exemption

Friday, January 8, 2021   /   by Bridget Bass

How to Apply for the Florida Homestead Tax Exemption

What is the Florida Homestead Exemption?

It is a tax exemption offered to Florida property owners that can reduce their property tax liability. This exemption helps thousands of Florida homeowners save money on their property taxes every year. Further benefits are available to property owners with disabilities, senior citizens, veterans and active duty military service members, disabled first responders, and properties with specialized uses. 


How does it work?

It’s offered based on your home’s assessed value and offers exemptions within ranges of your homes value. Specifically:
  • For the first $50,000 in assessed value of your home, up to $25,000 in value is exempted. (This exemption applies to all property taxes, including those related to your school district.)
  • You pay full taxes on any value between $25,000 and $50,000.
  • For any assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000, an additional $25,000 is eligible for exemption. (but this exemption does not apply to school district taxes.)
  • For value above $75,000, you pay full taxes.

Here are some examples:
  • $48,000 home: For this home, the first $25,000 in assessed value would be exempt from all property taxes. The remaining $23,000 in assessed value would be taxed normally.
  • $70,000 home: For this home, the first $25,000 in assessed value would be exempt from ally property taxes. The next $25,000 would be taxed normally. The remaining $20,000 in value would be exempt from all property taxes except school district taxes.
  • $90,000 home: For this home, the first $25,000 would be fully exempt from taxes, the next $25,000 would be fully taxed, the following $25,000 would be exempt from all but school district taxes, and the final $15,000 would be fully taxed.

Taxable Portion of a Homes Value with FL Homestead Exemption

Are you eligible for the FL Homestead Exemption?


To be eligible for the exemption, you must:

 1. claim the exemption for your permanent, primary residence (or the permanent residence of a dependent on your taxes).
 2. have lived at the property on January 1 of the tax year
 3. not have rented the property for more than 30 days in a calendar year

If you’re uncertain whether you meet these criteria, get in touch with your tax preparer or CPA. They can help you understand the details of Florida’s tax code to determine whether you qualify for the homestead exemption.


How to apply:

In order to receive the homestead deduction on your Florida taxes, you have to fill out an application form and demonstrate proof of residence by March 1 of the year for which you wish to qualify. To qualify for the Florida homestead exemption on your 2021 taxes, you must have filed this paperwork by March 1, 2021.

You must complete the DR-501 form and submit it by either:
  • Completing and submitting the form on your county's property appraiser's website.
  • Complete the form, print it out, and mail it to your county property appraiser's office. 
  • Visit one of the state's 5 in-person service centers and complete the form there.

Whether you complete the form online or in person, you’ll be asked to provide proof of your residence in Florida and at the address you want to claim the exemption for. Examples of documents that might work include the following:
  • A Florida driver’s license or state ID
  • A Florida vehicle registration number
  • A Florida voter’s ID
  • Immigration documents, if you’re not a US citizen
  • Proof of previous residency in a place other than Florida, plus proof that that residency has ended
  • Evidence that you’ve given up a driver’s license from another state
  • Declaration of domicile and residency in Florida
  • The name of your current employer
  • School addresses of any dependent children you have
  • A bank statement, plus a mailing address for a checking account
  • Proof of payment of utilities at the homestead address


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