As most Florida homeowners know, the
Florida Constitution provides for a valuable homestead tax exemption. In
general, to qualify for this exemption under Section 196.031 of the Florida
Statues, you must have legal or beneficial title to your home and in good faith
make the home your “permanent residence” as of January 1st. Determining whether you make the home your “permanent
residence” can be complicated for those who have multiple homes or sometimes
rent the home on occasion.
Section 196.012(17) of the Florida
Statutes defines a permanent residence as “that place where a person has his or
her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment to which, whenever
absent, he or she has the intention of returning. A person may only have one
permanent residence at a time.” Section 196.015, Florida Statutes allows the
property appraiser to consider the following factors in determining whether
your residence is your primary residence:
formal declaration of domicile by the applicant recorded in the public records
of the county in which the exemption is being sought.
(2) Evidence of the location where the
applicant’s dependent children are registered for school.
(3) The place of employment of the
(4) The previous permanent residency by
the applicant in a state other than Florida or in another country and the date
non-Florida residency was terminated.
(5) Proof of voter registration in this
state with the voter information card address of the applicant, or other
official correspondence from the supervisor of elections providing proof of
voter registration, matching the address of the physical location where the
exemption is being sought.
(6) A valid Florida driver license
issued under s. 322.18 or a valid Florida identification
card issued under s. 322.051 and evidence of relinquishment of
driver licenses from any other states.
(7) Issuance of a Florida license tag on
any motor vehicle owned by the applicant.
(8) The address as listed on federal
income tax returns filed by the applicant.
(9) The location where the applicant’s
bank statements and checking accounts are registered.
(10) Proof of payment for utilities at
the property for which permanent residency is being claimed.
The above factors can provide guidance
but are not conclusive. If your homestead exemption is denied by the property
appraiser or if you are not sure whether you should claim it or not, contact us
or another qualified professional.