HOMESTEAD AND OTHER EXEMPTIONS
The state constitution of Florida allows up to $50,000 (additional 25,000 does not apply to school taxes) to be deducted from the assessed value of a primary residence. For the property owners who are Florida residents and have qualified for homestead exemption the property is subject to a limitation in assessment increases, commonly known as Amendment 10, (Save Our Homes). This important benefit limits the increase in the assessed value to no more than 3% or the CPI (Consumer Price Index), whichever is less. When the property is sold the homestead exemption is removed, (adding a non-marital relative to the deed can cause a partial loss of this limitation on increases) the assessed value increases to just/market value for the New Year.
- The owner must have legal or beneficial title to the property recorded in Hillsborough County by January 1 of the year of application. Homestead exemption application (DR-501).
- Solicitud de Exención de Impuestos de Bienes Raíces Application for Ad Valorem Tax Exemption in Spanish
- The application must be submitted on or before March 1, unless it falls on a weekend or legal holiday, then it would extend to the next business day, to be timely filed.
- The owner must establish Hillsborough County as his/her legal domicile and reside on the subject property, be a US citizen or Permanent Resident.
Once homestead exemption is established it is automatically renewed each year, until there is a change of ownership. Florida Statute requires the property owner to inform the office of any change in residency or marital status that would affect the qualification of the homestead exemption so it may be reviewed.
If you are active duty military, you may qualify by providing us proof of Florida residency such as Florida driver license or LES (Leave and Earnings Statement). Once you have established homestead exemption and you are transferred on orders while maintaining Florida residency, you can retain the homestead exemption providing us a copy of your orders and correct mailing address.
At the time of application the applicant should have:
- Proof of Florida residency (i.e. Driver license) A "Valid in Florida" designation on your Florida driver license is not acceptable. A Florida Identification Card with an out of state driver license is not acceptable.
- Proof of Citizenship (i.e. voter registration or permanent resident card)
- Address of property, tax bill or deed/title.
- Social Security numbers for your spouse and any owner who resides on the property. (FL Stat 196.011(11)).
- If you have a mobile home, you will need your title or registration to the mobile home and the deed to the real estate.
- If the real estate is in a trust, you will need to provide us evidence from the Trust which provides that you have the necessary ownership interest to qualify for homestead exemption. (see sample verbiage or Fl Stat. 196.041(2)).
If you missed the March 1 deadline to file for an Exemption:
In 2009, Florida law allows for late filing with good cause. Our office accepts late applications for Homestead, other exemptions and Portability. However, late filers may file a late application until early September (25 days after the mailing of the Notices of Proposed Property Taxes in mid-August.) (DR-501).
To qualify for the current year you must have title to the property and moved onto the property as of January 1.
Change of Address Information for Homestead Property
Your Homestead property address and postal delivery address should be the same.
Changing your Homestead property mailing address may result in the loss of your Homestead Exemption.
If you have requested a temporary mailing address change (i.e. employment, visiting family, a medical issue, etc.), it will be necessary for you to provide documentation to our office to determine your permanent residency.
Examples for removing: renting, moving, changing ownership, death of owner, no longer making Florida primary residence or changing status per marriage, divorce, death etc.
To avoid any penalties complete the Change of Address Form or Request For Removal of Tax Exemption
Hillsborough County Property Appraiser
601 E Kennedy Blvd 16th Floor
Tampa FL 33602-4932
Or Fax to:
Other exemptions available:
$500 for Widow/Widower
Applicant must be a permanent Florida resident and married to the deceased at the time of death. If the applicant was divorced or remarries, he/she is not eligible for this exemption. A copy of the death certificate or newspaper clipping is required. (DR-501).
$500 for Personal Disability
Extended to anyone who is permanently disabled. See qualifications. This exemption is automatically renewed. Physician Certification (DR-416),(DR-501).
- $500 for Blind Disability
Every Florida resident who is blind qualifies for this exemption. If claiming exemption based on blindness, a certificate from the Division of Blind Services of the Department of Education or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the Federal Social Security Administration certifying the applicant to be blind is required. "Blind person" is defined as an individual having central vision acuity 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or a disqualifying field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter or visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than twenty degrees.
In 2007, the Florida Legislature modified the requirements for receiving an exemption form for blind persons. Prior to 2007 the applicant for such a disability exemption was required to have 2 licensed doctors fill out certification forms to be returned with the exemption application. The legislature has now provided for the option of having optometrists complete the certification forms. Therefore, beginning in 2008, the applicant for an exemption due to blindness now has the option of having the 2 certification forms filled out by either licensed doctors or optometrists. DR-416B, DR-501
- $5000 for Veteran Disability
Available to any service connected disability of less than 100%. As of 2006, a widow of a disabled veteran may qualify. This exemption is automatically renewed. A current letter from US Government or Veteran's Affairs with percent of disability and award date is required. DR-501
- Property Tax Discount for Veterans with Combat
Effective for the 2013 tax roll:
This tax break provides a percentage discount in property taxes equal to that of a veteran's combat-related disability, partial or total. Applicants must have homestead exemption, be at least 65 as of January 1 and was honorably discharged upon separation from the military and have a ‘combat related disability’.
You will need:
- A copy of the most current rating decision from the Veteran’s Administration, including evidence that your disability is combat related
- A copy of your DD – 214
- Deployed Active Duty Military Personnel
On November 2, 2010, Florida voters approved Amendment 2. This law provides an additional property tax exemption for certain members of the United States military who have been deployed to selected areas of operation outside the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii in support of military operations. This exemption will take effect as of January 1, 2011 and there will be a required application yearly. There is not a set dollar amount to be exempt. It is based on the time deployed during the preceding calendar year.
Summary of Amendment: By general law and subject to conditions specified therein, each person who receives a homestead exemption as provided in section 6 Florida Constitution; who was a member of the US military or military reserves, the US Coast Guard or its reserves, or the Florida National Guard; and who was deployed during the preceding calendar year on active duty outside the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii in support of military operations designated by the legislature shall receive an additional exemption equal to a percentage of the taxable value of his or her homestead property. The applicable percentage shall be calculated as the number of days during the preceding calendar year the person was deployed on active duty outside the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii in support of military operations designated by the Legislature divided by the number of days in that year. The amendment is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011. DR-501M
- Service Connected Total and Permanent Disability
Extended to all service connected disabled veterans with a 100% disability. The Exemption is inherited by the surviving spouse so long as she/he had been married to the veteran for at least 5 years at the time of the ex-service member's death and remains widowed. This exemption is automatically renewed. A current letter from US Government or Veteran's Affairs with percent of disability and award date is required. (DR-501).
- Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouse of Military Veteran or First Responder (Amendment 9)
This is also called the “Fallen Heroes Family Tax Relief Act” and provides for a 100% exemption on the homestead property for the surviving spouse of:
- A military veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty as a member of the US armed forces;
- A first responder (which includes a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or paramedic employed by the state or any political subdivision of the state) who died in the line of duty.
- Total and Permanent Personal Disability
Available to any property owner in a wheelchair, blind, paraplegic, hemiplegic or quadriplegic. Also, based on household gross income. This exemption must be renewed each year with a Statement of Gross Income filed by March 1, unless it falls on a weekend or legal holiday and then it would extend to the next business day.
Required are: 2 Physician Certificates (DR-416) and the Statement of Gross Income (DR-501A),(DR-501).
View the current year's Income Limitations
- Senior Citizen 65 years of age
Property owners who are 65 or older before January 1 with a limited household income, you may qualify for this exemption. The residence must also receive homestead exemption. The annual household income limitation is adjusted gross income as defined by s. 62, United States Internal Revenue Code. The income threshold is adjusted annually by the percentage change in the average cost of living index. This exemption must be renewed each year by providing income from the prior year. In 2013 the City of Tampa allows up to $50,000 plus the Long Term Residency Exemption. To qualify for the Long Term Residency you must first meet the Homestead and Low Income Senior requirements for property with a Just value of less than $250,000 and have maintained your permanent residence for 25 consecutive years. The Unincorporated Hillsborough County allows up to $40,000 for the Senior Exemption and Temple Terrace allows up to $25,000 for the exemption. The Seniors Exemption and the Long Term Residency only applies to the taxes levied by the unit of government granting the exemption. Senior Citizen application (DR501-SC).
View the current year's Income Limitations
- Live-in Parents/Grandparents
For living quarters to accommodate live-in parents or grandparents. Applies to construction that occurred after January 7, 2003 to an existing homestead property, where at least one parent or grandparent maintains their primary residence. The parent/ grandparent must be at least 62 years of age. The reduction will be the assessed value of the portion added or 20% of the total assessed value, whichever is less. The construction must have added value to the property. Original Application for Assessment Reduction for Living Quarters of Parents or Grandparents (DR-501PGP).
- Institutional Exemptions
In Florida, property tax exemptions can be granted only if an organization meets the specified criteria under Florida law.
Property must be owned by an exempt or not for profit entity and used exclusively or predominantly for an exempt purpose as of January 1 of the year the organization requests an exemption. The organization must file an ORIGINAL APPLICATION (DR-504) for exemption before March 1, and must meet the legal definition of a religious, charitable, educational, literary, or scientific use.
No application for exemption may be granted for religious, charitable, educational, literary, or scientific use until the application has been filed with the Property Appraiser as set forth in Chapter 196, Florida Statutes.
Other Important Facts:
Florida Statute 196.011(9) (a) requires the owner to notify the Property Appraiser whenever the use of the property or the status or condition of the owner changes so as to change the exempt status of the property.
Florida Statute 196.031(6) does not permit a property owner or legally or naturally dependent of the owner to avail themselves of a tax exemption in Florida and any other state.
Florida Administrative Code 12D-7.007
(3) A person in this country under a temporary visa cannot meet the requirement of permanent residence or home and therefore cannot claim homestead exemption.
Sample wording required to demonstrate ownership interest when property is in a trust:
Grantor(s) reserves the right to use, occupy and reside upon any real property placed in this Trust as their permanent residence during their lives. It is the intent of this provision to retain for the grantor(s) the requisite beneficial interest and possessor right in and to such real property to comply with Florida Statute 196.041(2), such interest being hereby declared to be "equitable title to real estate" as that term is employed in Section 6, Article VII of the State Constitution.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for tax exemption?
You may go in person to complete the application at any of the 5 offices of the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser by March 1, unless it falls on a weekend or legal holiday and then it would extend to the next business day. We also have the application online to print with a sample and instructions that you may use and return by mail.
Can I rent my home?
No. Rental of a primary residence constitutes abandonment of homestead property. If you are active duty military, you may rent your home while on orders. Please notify our office before you leave on orders.
I just purchased a home and my TRIM indicates homestead exemption, have I applied?
No. After you purchased property and the deed is recorded in the Clerk of Court Recording division, our records are updated. The new owner will receive the notice if the transfer occurs before August. You receive the benefit of the former owner's homestead exemption through December 31 of the year you purchase the property.
Can I transfer my homestead exemption to a new home?
No. Homestead exemptions are not transferred. A new application is required on any new purchase.
What is Amendment 10?
Amendment 10 limits or caps the assessed value on homestead property to no more than 3% or the CPI whichever is less of the prior year assessed value. Any change, addition or improvement made to the property will be added as new value and captured under the cap in the coming year. Any change of ownership could affect the Amendment 10 except as outlined in Florida Statute 193.155(3) (a).
I have a business with my home; does homestead exemption apply to the whole property?
No. Homestead exemption applies only to the residential unit. Commercial property or operations, such as rental property, do not qualify. That portion of the property can not capture under homestead exemption or Amendment 10 protection.