Under the Florida Constitution, permanent Florida residents may reduce the taxable value of their property by applying and qualifying for the exemption.
$50,000 Homestead Exemption
Florida Law entitles every person who has legal or equitable title to real estate and maintains it as his/her permanent residence to apply and receive up to a $50,000 homestead property exemption. A partial exemption may apply if the ownership of the applicant is less than 100%.
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 determined.
All proof of residency should be dated prior to January 1st.
Information needed for each person filing for an exemption:
- Florida Drivers License or Florida ID Card
- Social Security Number of applicant & applicants spouse.
- If the applicant is not a U.S. citizen, a U.S. Permanent Resident Alien Card.
Additional Information Needed:
- Date each applicant became a permanent Florida resident.
- Date of occupancy.
- Date of birth of all applicants.
- Any exemptions filed last year.
- Address of last income tax return.
- If property is titled in a trust, copy of entire trust must be submitted or Certificate of Trust supplied by the Property Appraisers Office.
- If you are filing on a mobile home, proof of title or registration to mobile home and deed to property must be brought into office to obtain a “Real Property” application.
Home-bound persons and other qualified individuals with disabilities who cannot readily leave their home to visit our office may also file for a Homestead Exemption or any other additional exemption.
Please call: (407) 742-5000 to arrange for a visit from our office to assist you with any exemption for which you are applying.
Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment, Amendment 1, on January 29, 2008 which grants added tax relief to property owners. The amendment gives homeowners the ability to transfer some or all of their Save Our Homes benefits to a new homestead property. When you file for Homestead Exemption on your new property, you may also file a Portability application (DR-501T). In order to be considered for Portability you must have received Homestead in the last 2 years.
Each homestead and portability scenario can be unique, if you should have additional questions, contact our office at (407) 742-5000.
To apply for portability, complete the DR-501T – Portability Form and mail or bring the application to our office at 2505 E Irlo Bronson, Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34744 or email us at email@example.com. If additional information is needed to process your application you will be notified by phone or email.
Florida residents may qualify for total and permanent disability or blind exemption. If filing for this exemption, you will be asked to present:
- If totally and permanently disabled, a DR-416 from a professionally licensed Florida physician or a Social Security Disability Award letter.
- Blind exemption applicants will be required to submit a DR-416 from a professionally licensed Florida physician or a DR-416B from a professionally licensed Florida optometrist.
- Any real estate that is owned and used as a homestead, by any quadriplegic shall be exempt from taxation (Does not require proof of Income).
- Any real estate that is owned and used as homestead by a paraplegic, hemiplegic or other totally and permanently disabled person, who must use a wheelchair for mobility or who is legally blind, shall be exempt from taxation. Persons entitled to this exemption must be a permanent resident of the State of Florida as of Jan 1st of the application year.
When filing for the first time, you will need the following items:
- A Statement of Gross Income (DR-501A)*
- Two unrelated Florida physicians to prepare the Physician’s Certification of Total and Permanent Disability (DR-416)
- For the legally blind, one of the two certificates may be an Optometrist’s Certificate of Total and Permanent Disability (DR-416B) or a certificate from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
*The prior year’s gross income of all persons residing in or upon the homestead must meet income limitation set forth in Florida Statute 196.101. Gross income includes United States Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and any social security benefits paid to any household member. Persons entitled to this exemption must meet statutory income limit of $29,415 for 2019 set by the Department of Revenue (this amount is adjusted annually in mid January).
First Responder Exemptions
This exemption is available to Florida First Responders who have a total and permanent disability as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in the line of duty while serving in Florida or during an operation in another state or county authorized by Florida or a political subdivision of the State of Florida, Florida Statute 196.102.
First responder is defined as:
- Law enforcement or correctional officer
- Emergency medical technician or paramedic (full-time or part-time employee, or unpaid volunteer)
Total and permanent disability is defined as an impairment of the mind and body that renders a first responder unable to engage in any substantial gainful occupation and that is reasonably certain to continue throughout their life.
To apply, you must meet the qualifications and submit an application with the following required documentation by March 1st:
- You must be a permanent residence of the State of Florida as of Jan 1st of the application year and qualified or approved for homestead exemption.
- Submit completed Employer Certification of Injury with description of first responder’s injury or injuries sustained while on active duty. Additionally, the original injury report must be submitted.
- Submit the following:
For quadriplegic, paraplegic, hemiplegic, or those confined to a wheelchair for mobility purposes:
- Two Physician Certificates of Total and Permanent Disability (DR-416).
For legally blind:
- Two Optometrists Certificates of Total and Permanent Disability (DR-416B). Forms must be completed by professionally licensed Florida physicians.
For all other total and permanent disabilities:
- One First Responder Physician Certificate or Total and Permanent Disability and a Social Security Administration Award Letter (within 3 months of issuance)
- Two First Responder Physician Certificate of Total and Permanent Disability from two professionally unrelated Florida physicians.
This tax exemption carries over to the surviving spouse as long as the surviving spouse holds legal or beneficial title to the homestead and permanently resides thereon and does not remarry. If the surviving spouse sells the property, an exemption not to exceed the amount granted under the most recent ad valorem tax roll may be transferred to the new residence if it is used as the surviving spouse’s primary residence and he or she does not remarry.
This exemption is also called the “Fallen Heroes Family Tax Relief Act” and is available to the surviving spouse of a military veteran who died from service connected causes while on active duty as a member of the U.S. force, and to a surviving spouse of a first responder (law enforcement office, correctional officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician or paramedic employed by the State of Florida or any political subdivision of the State) who died in the line of duty.
The surviving spouse must qualify for homestead and must have been a permanent resident of Florida on January 1st of the year in which the death occurred. The spouse must provide a letter from the veteran’s or first responder’s employer certifying that he/she died in the line of duty. If the spouse remarries, he/she would no longer qualify for the exemption and it would be removed.
Granny Flat Exemption
Taxpayers who build additions onto an existing home or perform extensive renovations 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 Appraisers Office. Construction or reconstruction must be substantially complete after January 7, 2003 and before January 1st of the year in which the reduction is requested. Application must be filed with the Property Appraisers Office annually on or before March 1st of each year. The occupants of the quarters must be a parent or grandparent. The occupants must be at least 62 years of age by January 1st of the year in which the reduction is requested. The occupants must permanently reside on the property on or before January 1st of the year in which application is made. The occupants cannot receive any benefits requiring a declaration of permanent residency on any other property in any other County or State.
Organizational Exemptions may be applied for if the property is owned and used predominantly or exclusively for exempt purposes as of Jan 1st or the application year. This exemption is not automatic even if your organization has a 501c(3) status, an application must be made by March 1st.
Various exemptions are provided under Florida Statute 196:
- Charitable, which use provides such a service or value to the community that its interruption could result in expenditures of public funds.
- Religious, for all properties owned by religious organization and used for religious purposes.
- Scientific, for science research and operations.
- Literary, including not-for-profit cultural and art groups.
- Educational, including not-for-profit schools, charter schools, and may include property used by private school when the school is eligible for certain accreditation.
To apply your organization must complete the Ad Valorem Tax Exemption application DR-504, for each parcel of land. The completed form must be submitted to our office for review with copies of the Articles of Incorporation and a copy of the 501c(3) determination letter.
If you should have any additional questions about the application process, please contact our office at (407) 742-5000.
Portability of “Save Our Homes” Cap
Portability is a constitutional amendment which grants additional tax relief to property owners. This amendment gives homeowners the “portability” right to move the Save Our Homes Benefits to a new homesteaded property. If you have applied for a new homestead exemption and are entitled to transfer a homestead assessment difference from a previous address, you may file form DR-501T with the Property Appraiser by March 1.
The limited income Senior Exemption provides an additional savings of up to $50,000 for residents 65 and over and who meet certain income requirements. Article VII of the Florida State Constitution gives the authority to the Board of County Commissioners and the local governing authority of the municipalities to determine the benefit amount. Within Osceola County the benefit amount has been established by the different governing authorities and varies depending upon where you reside.
- $25,000 exemption for the Osceola County ad valorem taxes
- $25,000 exemption for the City of Kissimmee ad valorem taxes
- $8,000 exemption for the City of Saint Cloud ad valorem taxes
The total 2020 adjusted gross household income limit is: $30,721 (This amount can be found on your federal income tax return that is filed with the IRS)
In order to be eligible, you must meet the following:
- Homeowners must have a current Homestead Exemption
- At least one owner must be 65 years of age or older as of Jan 1st of application year.
- Provide proof of age (one of the following)
- Florida Drivers License or
- Florida Identification Card (non-drivers only) or
- Copy of Birth Certificate
- Application DR-501SC, which must be completed and returned by March 1st.
- If any person residing on property files a federal income tax return, a copy of the current return must be submitted by June 1st. *
If you have additional questions regarding this exemption contact our office at (407) 742-5000.
This income is adjusted annually. New income limits are set by the Department of Revenue each January.
*If a tax return is no longer filed, proof of all household income must be submitted by June 1st
This additional exemption only applies to the Osceola County portion of the ad valorem taxes. In order to be eligible for this exemption you must first meet all the criteria for the original Senior Exemption. In addition you must have maintained your Homestead property for at least twenty-five years as of Jan 1st of the application year.
At the time of application, the property’s Just Value cannot exceed $250,000.
Adjusted gross income limit for 2019 is $30,174
Note: Income for both exemptions are adjusted annually by the Department of Revenue each January
If you have additional questions regarding this exemption, contact our office at (407) 742-5000.
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans and Deployed Servicemember Exemptions
This exemption is available to service members who were deployed during the preceding calendar year on active duty outside the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii in support of certain operations recognized by F.S. 196.173.
The new exemption is based on the number of days that the service member was deployed. For example, if the service member was deployed half the year, the exemption would be 50% of the home’s taxable value.
Please call our office at (407) 742-5000 to find out if you qualify or you may download an application by clicking on the following link:
Florida residents who are honorably discharged veterans with a service connected disability rating of at least 10% or who became disabled through an accident or other such misfortune, may qualify for this exemption. To apply, you will need to submit a letter from the Veterans Administration or a qualifying branch of the United States Government. The unremarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran may also qualify for this exemption.
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, whose disability was combat-related. Under this law, a 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 remaining taxable value of the Homesteaded residence after all other exemptions have been applied.
Please provide us with documented proof your disability was combat related i.e, copy of Purple Heart Medal award paperwork or 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.
Any real estate that is owned and used as a homestead by a veteran who was honorably discharged with a service-connected total and permanent disability and for whom a letter from the United States Government or United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor has been issued certifying that the veteran is totally and permanently disabled is exempt from taxation, if the veteran is a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the tax year for which exemption is being claimed or was a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the year the veteran died (Florida State Statute 196.081).
Widows / Widowers Exemption
To be eligible for this exemption, you must be a permanent resident of the State of Florida as of Jan 1st of the application year. The applicant must have been legally married to the deceased at the time of death. An application for this exemption must be filed by March 1st and a copy of the death certificate is required. If the applicant was divorced at the time of death or remarries, this will make you ineligible to receive the exemption.