For many home buyers, the process of buying a home is a lengthy, but exciting one. From starting your loan application to making an offer and then finally closing, you will encounter endless amounts of paperwork, forms and signing. Once you leave the closing table with your keys in hand, there is still one very important thing to do and that is file your homestead exemption!
The Florida Homestead exemption is a huge benefit of owning a home in Florida! Here is everything you need to know about homestead exemptions in Florida and special benefits that are afforded to military as well.
Who is eligible?
All legal Florida residents who own and occupy a home, condo, co-op apartment and certain mobile home lots. To qualify, you must own and occupy the home as permanent residence on January 1st of the year in which you want to claim the exemption.
What does the exemption do for me?
The exemption gives you a deduction of up to $50,000 off the assessed value of a property owner’s primary residence. In addition, it also caps future annual increases for your property taxes to 3% or less.
How do I file?
You must file for your homestead exemption no later than March 1st. Late filing is permitted through early September, but we encourage you to file as soon as you receive your recorded deed in the mail from your closing, which typically can take 4-6 weeks.
- Duval County
In person at: 231 E. Forsyth Street, Suite 260 Jacksonville, Florida 32202
By Fax/Email: 904-630-2525 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You will receive a receipt by mail as proof that your exemption application was received and processed within 45 days of filing.
- St. Johns County
In person at: 4030 Lewis Speedway, Suite 203 Saint Augustine, FL 32084
- Nassau County
In person at any of these 3 locations: https://www.nassauflpa.com/About-Us/Locations
- Clay County
In person at either of these 2 locations: https://www.ccpao.com/locations.html
By mail: Call 904-284-6305 to discuss what you need to mail in (application with wet signature, copy of your driver’s license with the property listed as your current residence, electric bill, etc.)
What documents are required to file?
- Your recorded deed
- FL Driver’s License or ID Card
- Vehicle Registration
- Social Security Number and Birthdate for all owners listed
St. Johns County
- Your recorded deed
- FL Driver’s License
- FL Voter’s Registration Card
- Social Security Number for all owners
- FL Vehicle Registration
- Statement of Previous Permanent Residency
- Place of Employment
- Address listed on federal income tax return
- Recorded deed or tax bill in your name. (Preferably recorded deed)
- FL Driver’s License showing permanent residence address.
- FL vehicle registration.
- Nassau County voter registration card, if you are a registered voter.
- Social Security number
- If you are active military: Copy of L.E.S. showing Florida as state of legal residence.
- Call 904-284-6305 for the most up to date information.
My spouse is deployed; do I need a POA or them to be present to file?
No, any owner listed on the deed can file. You would just need your spouse’s social security number to ensure the correct filing.
What if I have a Driver’s License from another state?
Most military keep their license in their home of record throughout their time of service.
For Duval county, you can have an out of state license and still apply for your homestead exemption. You will need a Declaration of Domicile from the Duval County Circuit Civil Department at the Duval County C Courthouse. You will need your military ID to fill out this document. The cost is $5 and it is also advisable to pay the additional $10 to have the document recorded in case the document is ever lost. For more details on the Declaration of Domicile, you can call 904-255-1905. Once complete, you would take this document with you to file your exemption.
For St. Johns county, you will need a FL Driver’s License to apply for your homestead exemption or have current military orders with an out of state driver’s license matching that location. Peggy Hand is the supervisor for exemptions in St. Johns County and can be reached at email@example.com if you have specific questions or concerns about the license requirements.
Do I need to file every year?
No, your exemption automatically renews and stays on the property for as long as you make it your primary residence. Each year you will receive a postcard in the mail regarding the exemption. You only return the postcard if you are looking to remove the exemption from the property. You will receive this card in January. Keep it in your home file as your receipt for the renewal.
I’m military and I received orders to PCS and plan to rent my home, can I keep my exemption?
Yes, Florida allows for active duty military members to keep their homestead exemption when renting their home while on military orders. You must provide the Property Appraiser’s Customer Service/Exemptions Division with a copy of your military orders and a valid mailing address. For both Duval and St. Johns County, you can email a copy of your orders to addresses listed below. Be sure to follow up and confirm receipt!
For the most up-to-date info, visit:
904.630.2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Johns County
904-827-5500 or email@example.com