The TIMELY Filing Deadline is Approaching!  

Realtors, this may be a good opportunity to contact your buyers who closed on their properties in 2017 to confirm they have applied for their 2018 Homestead exemption.  

The timely filing deadline for Homestead and all other exemptions is March 1, 2018 and the absolute deadline to LATE FILE for any 2018 exemption -- if you miss the March 1 timely filing deadline -- is September 18, 2018. 

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.      

The basic homestead exemption saved a Broward homeowner in 2017 anywhere from $615.43 to $1030.61 (depending upon the city's millage rate) in annual tax savings for all homes with a value of $75,000 or higher.  

Homeowners are entitled to a Homestead Exemption if, as of January 1st, they have made the property their permanent home.  By law, January 1 of each year is the date on which permanent residence is determined.   

Homeowners may file for Homestead ONLINE by going to BCPA.net, in Broward County, and clicking the large yellow button in the navigation menu on the top left side of the page.  Homeowners  may also file by visiting the Property Appraiser's office at 115 South Andrews Ave, Room 111, Ft. Lauderdale or at one of the County's community outreach events, (visit BCPA.net website for calendar dates and locations).

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 file.

  1. 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.   
  2. 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:

1. Florida Voter's Registration; or

2. 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.  

     3. 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. If you maintain an exemption on another property elsewhere it is FRAUD!

The State-approved application form requests certain information for all owners living on the premises and filing: 

  • Current employers of all owners. 
  • 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 information on other exemptions, please contact Customer Service & Exemptions Division:  954-357-6830.  Please feel free to copy this email and give it to your clients at their closing. This information was taken from the BCPA.net website.    

NOW YOU KNOW!!!