If you hold legal or equitable title to real property purchased in Florida in 2016 (or before), “reside thereon and in good faith made it your permanent residence as of January 1, 2017″ and are a U.S. citizen or a legal resident of the United States, you are entitled to a $50,000 Homestead Exemption.

What is the $50,000 Homestead Exemption?

Florida law allows Florida homeowners to claim up to a $50,000 Homestead Exemption on their primary residence.

The first $25,000 of the exemption applies to all taxing authorities. The second $25,000 excludes the school board portion of the property taxes (which can be anywhere between 35% to 40% of the tax bill) and applies to properties with assessed values greater than $50,000. 

The example below, courtesy of the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser's Office, illustrates how the second $25,000 exemption is calculated 

The second exemption is automatically applied to any property that currently receives a homestead exemption. No need to file separately. 

The $50,000 Homestead Exemption provides homeowners with tax savings of approximately $900 the first year that the homestead exemption is granted, which is referred to as the base year. 

More importantly, as a result of Amendment 10, the homestead exemption caps the Assessed Value (not the Market Value) of your primary residence at 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less.

The “cap” remains so long as the title remains unchanged and the homeowner continuously receives a homestead exemption on the same home. This is an example of how the homestead exemption and Amendment 10 impact primary homeowners, courtesy of the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser's Office.

Documents Necessary to File Homestead Exemption 

Whether you apply for a Homestead Exemption online, by mail, or in person, you will need to gather the following documents as proof of ownership prior to January 1, 2017 and Florida residency.

Any one of the following Proofs of Ownership can be submitted along with the application: 

  • A pre-printed application mailed to you by the property appraiser
  • A recorded warranty deed 

Any one of the following Proofs of Florida Residence issued prior to January 1, 2017 can be submitted along with the application: 

  • A valid Florida driver’s license or ID card which reflects the property address
  • Florida Vehicle Registration which reflects the property address 
  • Florida Voter's Registration which reflects the property address
  • Prior year's IRS return or current W-2 Form 
  • Bank statements and checking account which reflects the property address
  • Proof of payments for utilities at the property

How Do I Apply for a $50,000 Homestead Exemption?

If you purchased a residential property within the first three quarters of 2016, you may have received a pre-printed application through the mail. Those who purchased during the latter part of 2016 may not have received a pre-printed application.

No need to worry, though. An application along with a Property Tax Exemption Requirements Guide and the Exemption Application Guidelines listing the documents you need to file a homestead exemption are available online at the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s Office Exemptions page. The active links above will take you directly to those PDF files.

All property exemption applications may be filed with the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser’s Office anytime up to March 1, 2017

Filing the Homestead Exemption Online

Filing a homestead exemption online is the fastest and most convenient way to file.

It's not exactly the Apple® experience, but the good folks at the PA are making progress.

Make sure to use Internet Explorer if you file online. Don't go crazy using Chrome, Firefox or Safari, silly rabbit.

In addition to filling out the form online,  you must provide one proof of ownership and one proof of Florida residency issued prior to January 1, 2017 (see above for acceptable documents).

Filing the Homestead Exemption by Mail

You can apply for the homestead exemption via snail mail by mailing this application to:

PROPERTY APPRAISER
P.O. Box 013140
Miami, FL 33101-3140

If snail mail is your preferred method, make sure to send it Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested.

If you're the type that doesn't believe in the US Postal Service and believes that www stands for wicked world web, lucky for you, filing in person is still an option.

Filing the Homestead Exemption in Person

There are two permanent physical locations for filing a homestead exemption in person.

The Stephen P Clark Center and South Dade Government Center are open Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Stephen P Clark Center (Government Center)
111 NW 1 Street, 7th Floor
Miami, FL 33128
 

The other location convenient for those living in the southern part of the county (i.e., Homestead - see what I did there?) is the South Dade Government Center in Cutler Bay.

South Dade Government Center
10710 SW 211 Street, 2nd Floor
Cutler Bay, FL 33189

Once you've filed for your homestead exemption, you can track the status of your application here.

Portability

If you previously owned a home that had a homestead exemption, you may be able to transfer (port) a homestead assessment difference from your previous homestead.

You can apply for a portability transfer using form DR-501T after you have applied for the Homestead Exemption. 

Here's an example of how portability is calculated, courtesy of the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser.

Disclaimer: We are not employees of the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser's Office. If you have questions about any of the exemptions offered by the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser's Office, please visit their FAQ page or contact the Exemptions Division at 305-375-4091.