Property Tax Exemptions
Please go to our Download Forms page to download the appropriate application forms.
For filing deadlines, see our Important Dates page.
Every person who has legal or equitable title to real property in the State of Florida and in good faith makes it his or her permanent home is eligible to receive a homestead exemption of up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes. The additional $25,000 applies to any assessed value over $50,000 and only to non-school taxes. First time applicants are required to furnish their social security number, and should have available evidence of ownership i.e., deed, contract, etc. If title is held by the husband alone, a wife may file for him, with his consent, and vice versa.
If filing for the first time, be prepared to provide the following information declaring that you were living in the dwelling which is being claimed for homestead exemption on January 1.
Each applicant will have to fill out Form DR-501T, “Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference,” in the office of the property appraiser of the county in which their new home is located. Required information on this form includes the date that the previous homestead was sold or no longer used as a homestead, the address and parcel identification number of the previous homestead, a list of all other owners of the previous homestead, an affirmative statement that none of the previous owners remained in the homestead and continued to receive a homestead exemption, and a sworn statement that he or she received the homestead exemption on the previous parcel. Form DR-501, “Original Application for Ad Valorem Tax Exemption” should also be completed to apply for the homestead exemption on the new homestead.
Any veteran age 65 and older may qualify for a homestead property tax discount if the veteran has an honorable discharge from military service and is partially disabled with a permanent service connected disability that is combat-related. The discount is equal to the percentage of the veteran’s permanent service connected disability as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
Any widow who is a permanent Florida resident may claim this exemption. If the widow remarries, she is no longer eligible. If the husband and wife were divorced before his death, the woman is not considered a widow. You may be asked to file a death certificate with the Sumter County Clerk of Court when filing for the first time.
Any widower who is a permanent Florida resident may claim this exemption. If the widower remarries he is no longer eligible. If the husband and wife were divorced before her death, the man is not considered a widower. You may be asked to file a death certificate with the Sumter County Clerk of Court when filing for the first time.
Every Florida resident who is totally and permanently disabled qualifies for this exemption. If filing for the first time, please present at least one of the following as proof of your disability: A certificate from a licensed Florida physician, or a certificate from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or documentation from the Social Security Administration.
Any ex-service member who is a permanent resident of Florida and is disabled at least 10% in war or by service-connected misfortune is entitled to a $5000 exemption. If filing for the first time, please present a certificate from the United States Government. Under certain circumstances the benefit of this exemption can carry over to the veteran’s spouse in the event of the veteran’s death. Consult your appraiser for details.
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.
Florida Statute 196.011(11) mandates that Social Security numbers of the applicant and the applicant’s spouse, if any, be provided on new exemption applications for them to be deemed complete. For exemptions already granted, Social Security numbers must be furnished by January 1, 2000 for the exemptions to remain in effect for year 2000 and beyond. This information is safeguarded as CONFIDENTIAL.
Any real estate owned and used as a homestead by a veteran who was honorably discharged with a service-connected total and permanent disability is exempt from taxation if the veteran is a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the year the exemption is being claimed or was a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the year the veteran died.
Any real estate owned and used as a homestead as of January 1, by the surviving spouse of a veteran who was honorably discharged with a service-connected total and permanent disability is exempt from taxation if the veteran was a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the year the veteran died.
Any real estate owned and used as a homestead by the surviving spouse of a veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty is exempt from taxation if the veteran was a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the year the veteran died.
Applicants must provide a letter from the United States Government or United States Department of Veterans Affairs as proof.
Note: Applies only to Homestead Property.
- Any real estate used and owned as a homestead, less any portion thereof used for commercial purposes by any quadriplegic shall be exempt from taxation.
- Any real estate used and owned as a homestead, less any portion thereof used for commercial purposes, by a paraplegic, hemiplegic or other totally and permanently disabled person, as defined in Section 196.012(11), F.S., who must use a wheelchair for mobility or who is legally blind, shall be exempt from taxation.
Persons entitled to the exemption under number two (2) above, must be a permanent resident of the State of Florida as of January 1st of the year of assessment. Also, the prior year gross income of all persons residing in or upon the homestead shall not exceed the amount of income, set forth in section 196.101(4), F.S., adjusted annually by the percentage change of the average cost of living index issued by the United States Department of Labor. Gross income shall include United States Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and any social security benefits paid to the person. A statement of gross income must accompany the application. If filing for the first time, please bring a certificate from two (2) licensed doctors of this state (for the legally blind, one of the two certificates may be from a licensed optometrist of this state) or a certificate (per s. 196.091, F.S.) from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
Some city or county governments have enacted a local ordinance allowing an added homestead exemption up to $50,000.
To qualify you must:
- Be 65 or older
- Submit a statement of income (Form DR-501SC) and meet the income limit
- Have legal or equitable title to a home you make your permanent residence
The household income limit is adjusted each year on January 1, according to changes in the consumer price index (CPI). It compares the prior year cost-of-living with the year before.
A member or former member of any branch of the United States military or military reserves, the United States Coast Guard or its reserves, or the Florida National Guard may receive an exemption on this year’s tax bill if he or she:
- received a homestead exemption last year,
- was deployed during the last calendar year outside the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii in support of a designated operation (each year the Florida legislature designates operations for this exemption), and
- submits an application, Form DR-501M, to the property appraiser
The percent of the taxable value that is exempt for the current year is determined by the percent of time during the last year when the service member was deployed on a designated operation
Applicants requesting exemption shall supply such fiscal and other records showing in reasonable detail the financial condition, record of operation, and exempt and nonexempt uses of the property, where appropriate, for the immediately preceding fiscal year as are requested by the property appraiser or the value adjustment board. Specific criteria has been established for determining whether an applicant for a religious, literary, scientific, or charitable exemption under this chapter is a nonprofit or profit making venture or whether the property is used for a profit making purpose. For a complete description of these criteria and the associated determining factors, please see the referenced Florida Statutes. No application for exemption may be granted for religious, literary, scientific, or charitable use of property until the applicant has been found by the property appraiser or, upon appeal, by the value adjustment board to be nonprofit as defined in this section
Charter school exemption from ad valorem taxes. The owner of the property shall disclose to a charter school the full amount of the benefit derived from the exemption and the method for ensuring that the charter school receives such benefit. The charter school shall receive the full benefit derived from the exemption through either an annual or monthly credit to the charter school’s lease payments.
Additional provisions for exempting property used by hospitals, nursing homes, and homes for special services. (1) The applicant must be a Florida corporation not for profit that has been exempt as of January 1 of the year for which exemption from ad valorem property taxes is requested from federal income taxation by having qualified as an exempt organization under the provisions of s. (2) In determining the extent of exemption to be granted to institutions licensed as hospitals.
Constitutional Amendment 3 was approved by the voters in the November 8, 2016 general election. This exemption provides ad valorem tax relief equal to the total amount of ad valorem taxes owed on a homestead property of a Florida first responder who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in the line of duty. “First responder” is defined to mean a law enforcement officer, a correctional officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic. “In the line of duty” is defined to mean arising out of and in the actual performance of duty required by employment as a first responder.
To qualify for this exemption, the first responder must have been employed by a Florida Agency when he or she was injured.
The following documents are required to apply:
- First Responders Physician’s Certificate of Total and Permanent Disability and the First Responder’s Employer Certification of Injury along with a copy of an Accident or Incident Report,
- A letter from the Social Security Administration or Florida Retirement System
- Employer Certification of Injury form with an attached copy of an Accident or Incident Report,
- Two (2) First Responders Physician’s Certificate of Total and Permanent Disability forms, from two (2) professionally unrelated licensed Florida physicians.
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.
The spouse must provide a letter from the first responder’s employer (the state, or subdivision of the state) indicating that the first responder died in the line of duty. If the spouse moves he or she may “port” a portion of the exemption. If the spouse remarries the exemption is removed.