Do It or Lose It: Last Day to File for FL Property Tax Exemptions is Monday
At current tax rates, City of Palm Coast residents (tax dist. 61) who take advantage of Florida’s Homestead Exemption get up to $854.90 knocked off their property tax bill. Qualifying Seniors get more
Palm Coast, FL – February 26, 2015 – At current tax rates, City of Palm Coast residents (in tax district 61) who take advantage of Florida’s Homestead Exemption get up to $854.90 knocked off their property tax bill. The deadline for qualifying for a Homestead Exemption for the 2015 tax year is March 1. Do it or lose it. Since March 1 is a Sunday this year, applications will be accepted through Monday, March 2nd. (Toby’s hint: Valid late applications will be considered. Please call the Property Appraiser’s office at (386) 313-4150.)
Both Homestead Exemptions and Homesteaded Senior Exemptions are often misunderstood or overlooked. It’s your money, so save it if you qualify. And please tell your friends and relatives about the exemptions and filing requirements.
The amount actually amount saved varies with the taxing district in which the homesteaded property is located. Tax savings on homesteaded properties assessed at less than $75,000 is less. To see what effect homesteading has or will have on your property tax bill, visit the Flagler Property Appraiser’s website and do the following:
- Locate your property record through the Search Records feature.
- Find the Tax District on the property record. For instance, the Tax District for most of Palm Coast is CITY OF PALM COAST WITH MOSQUITO CONTROL (District 61).
- Note the Assessed Value of the property.
- Return to the website Home Page.
- Click on the Tax Estimator tab.
- On the Tax Estimator pagnter your property’s Assessed Value (not the Just Value, not the Exempt Value, not the Taxable Value, not the Protected Value) and the applicable Tax District.
- Click Calculate and note the Estimated Taxes.
- Next, check the Homestead box and Calculate again. When the Homestead box is checked, the Senior Exemption box appears. Check this box only if you qualify (see information about Senior Exemption below).
- The difference between the Estimated Taxes will be your calculated property tax savings.
It is very important to remember that if you sell your home and buy another home in Flagler County, you must come in to the Property Appraiser’s office to make a new application. The homestead exemption DOES NOT automatically follow you to your new home.
!!! NEW HOMEBUYERS BEWARE !!!
Be aware that there could be significant changes in the property taxes on the home you are buying. In Florida, state law limits the annual increase in the assessed value, not market value, of homesteaded property to 3% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) whichever is less. This is also called Save Our Homes. When homesteaded property is sold, that limitation is removed and the property is reassessed. This results in a new assessed value.
Further details on the Homestead Exemption as well as other exemptions to which you may be entitled can be found on the Property Appraiser’s website under the Exemptions tab. The following is excerpted from that section.
The Property Appraiser’s Office administers all property tax exemptions. Brief summaries of available exemptions are listed here. For more information or to apply, call us at (386) 313-4150 or visit us at the Government Services Building located at 1769 E. Moody Blvd. Building #2 Suite 201 in Bunnell. You may also see the State of Florida Eligibility Criteria on this website under forms to download.
- $50,000 Homestead Exemption
Every person who on January 1 of the current year has legal title or beneficial title in equity to real property in this state and who in good faith makes the property his or her permanent residence. You may apply in person at any time through the year, but the deadline is March 1 of the qualifying year.
First time applicants must come to our office in person. Spouses information is required if property is jointly owned. You will need to bring:
- Florida Drivers License or ID with correct mailing address.
- Florida vehicle registration with correct mailing address.(If you own a vehicle)
- Flagler County Voter’s Registration with correct mailing address. (If you vote)
- Social Security Numbers for all applicants and spouse.
- If you were not born in the US, we will need to see proof of citizenship or permanent residency.
- If the property is in a Trust, we will need to see a copy of the entire Trust.
- Copy of recorded deed or tax bill.
- Copy of Mobile Home Registration or Titles if you live in a mobile home.
- $500 Widow/Widower Exemption
A widow or widower who is a legal and permanent resident of Florida qualifies for this exemption. If the surviving spouse remarries, they are no longer eligible. If the husband and wife were divorced before their spouse’s death, the survivor is not eligible. You need to produce a copy of the death certificate when filing for the first time.
- $500 Disability Exemption
People who are permanently disabled are eligible for this exemption. If applying for the first time, please provide a Physician’s Certificate from a licensed Florida physician.
> $500 Blind Exemption
Every Florida resident who is blind qualifies for this exemption. If filing for the first time, please bring a certificate from the Division of Blind Services or an Optometrist’s Certificate verifying the applicant to be legally blind. The Optometrist’s Certificate can be found on our web site in the Forms to download section.
- Total Exemptions
Honorably discharged veterans who are Totally and Permanently Disabled due to service connected disability qualify for this exemption. If filing for the first time, please provide a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs that verifies your disability. If you are a paraplegic, hemiplegic or other totally and permanently disabled person who must use a wheelchair for mobility or who is legally blind, you may also be exempt from taxation. Please read the State of Florida Eligibility Criteria sheet in our forms to download section for further instructions.
- First Responder Exemption
The surviving spouse of a first responder, who died in the line of duty while employed by the state or any political subdivision of the state, is totally exempt from paying taxes on their homestead property. A letter from the state or appropriate entity is required which legally recognizes and certifies that the first responder died in the line of duty while employed as a first responder. The first responder and spouse must be a resident of this state on January 1 of the year in which the first responder died.
For information on Senior Homestead Exemption and Veteran/Service member Exemptions, please refer to the Exemption tab.
SENIOR EXEMPTION INFORMATION
Additional $50,000 Exemption for persons 65 years of age and over.
Every person who is eligible for the Homestead Exemption is eligible for an additional exemption up to $50,000 under the following circumstances: (1) The county or municipality adopts an ordinance that allows the additional exemption which applies ONLY to the taxes levied by the unit of government granting the exemption; (2) The taxpayer is 65 years of age or older on January 1 of the year for which the exemption is claimed; (3) The annual household income of the taxpayer (defined as adjusted gross income as defined in s. 62, United States Internal Revenue Code of all members of a household) for the prior year does not exceed $28,448. On January 1 of each year, this income threshold is adjusted by the percentage change in the average cost-of-living index. We will inform you on this website as soon as we receive the new income amount which is reported to us typically in January.
An additional exemption of up to $250,000 is available if you have lived in your home for 25 years, you are age 65 or older on or before January 1 of the current year, and your adjusted gross income does not exceed the income limitation for the calendar year.
This exemption only affects the county’s portion of your tax bill. If you believe that you are entitled to this exemption, you must file in our office by March 1.
Total household income means the adjusted gross income of all members of a household. We will use the adjusted gross income amount reported on the IRS Form 1040 or 1040A tax return from the previous year. If applicant does not file an IRS return, the applicant will need to bring all 1099’s for the previous year. This includes 1099’s from Social Security, pensions, interest from banks, and any other miscellaneous income.
First time applicants will need to apply in person at our office. You will need to bring in proof of age. (Drivers license or Birth Certificate) All applicants must already have filed for the original Homestead Exemption before receiving the Senior Exemption.
Senior Exemption applications are taken year round, but you must be 65 years of age by January 1st of the year you are applying and the deadline to file is always March 1.
VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SENIORS WHO ALREADY HAVE THIS EXEMPTION!!!!
Seniors who have already applied for and were granted this exemption for the prior year will receive a renewal card in the mail. You MUST sign this card and return to our office no later than March 1. You will no longer have to bring in income documents for the prior year unless the Property Appraiser requests such documents. If we request your income documents for the prior year, they will need to be in our office by June 1. Your Senior Exemption renewal card will be different than the Homestead Receipt Card. Please be careful to send the correct card in to renew your Senior Exemption. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office and the Exemptions Department will be happy to help you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q. Does my adjusted gross income calculations include my Social Security benefits?
A. Most of the time it does not. If you are single and ½ of your social security benefits plus your other taxable income is $25,000 to $34,000, then 50% of your social security benefits would be included. If you are married and ½ of your social security benefits plus your other taxable income is $32,000 to $44,000, then 50% of your social security benefits would be included.
Q. Do both of us have to be 65 years of age to qualify?
A. If this is a husband and wife situation, then only one needs to be 65 years of age to qualify.
Q. Do I have to have my current income tax statement completed before I can file for this exemption?
A. NO! New applicants must file for this exemption on or before March 1st of the current year. You will then have until June 1st of the current year to bring in your income documents. Florida Law states that the Property Appraiser may not grant this exemption without the required documentation. Please remember that June 1st is the deadline for all income documentation.
Q. The IRS told me that I do not have to file an income tax return because my income is too low. How do I prove to you my adjusted gross income?
A. You will need to bring in to our office copies of all your 1099’s for the year 2013. You will be asked to sign an 8821 Form from the IRS giving our office permission to verify your income information from the IRS. We have a Senior Exemption Specialist to help you complete this information when you come in to our office.
Q. Do I have to file for this exemption every year?
A. YES! After the initial application year, you will be sent a renewal card that needs to be signed and returned to us by March 1, of the current year.
Q. I can’t find my Birth Certificate and I don’t drive, how do I prove my age?
A. Florida Law lists documents that should be considered sufficient proof of age. Certified copy of birth certificate, Florida driver’s license, Baptismal Certificate, displaying full name and date of birth, copy of life insurance policy that has been in effect for at least two years, marriage certificate, showing full name and date of birth, Passport, Permanent Resident Card, (formerly known as Alien Registration Card), any other official and/or certified record or document that demonstrates the applicant’s true age to the satisfaction of the Property Appraiser. Only one of these documents is needed to prove your age.
Q. How do I prove that I have lived in my home for 25 years?
A. If you have had a Homestead Exemption for 25 years, we will be able to confirm it by our records in this office. If you have not had an exemption for 25 years, you will have to prove it by other documentation.
If you have any questions or concerns about any exemptions please feel free to contact us in person, by phone (386)313-4150, by fax (386)313-4151, or by E-Mail (email@example.com)
VETERANS/SERVICE MEMBERS TAX BENEFITS
- $5000 Disabled Veterans Exemption
Ex–service member who is a permanent resident of the State of Florida, and who has a service connected disability of at least 10% is entitled to a $5000 exemption.
- Total and Permanent Disability Exemption
Honorably discharged veterans with a service-connected total and permanent disability, surviving spouses of qualifying veterans and spouses of Florida resident veterans who died from service-connected causes while on active duty are entitled to a total exemption.
- Disabled Veterans Homestead Property Tax Discount
Any honorably discharged veteran age 65 and older, is partially disabled with a service connected disability that is combat-related is entitled to a property tax discount equal to the percentage of the veteran’s disability. Submit Form DR-501DV.
- Flagler County Active Military Combat Duty Grant
Any Flagler County service person who has served 45 days or more in a calendar year in a designated combat zone is entitled to a reimbursement of ad-valorem taxes levied by Flagler County on their homestead property up to $1000. This benefit is processed through the Veterans Service office in the Government Services Building of Flagler County.
- Deployed Servicemember Property Tax Exemption
This exemption is available to servicemembers who were deployed during the preceding calendar year on active duty outside the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii in support of qualified operations.
The exemption is not a fixed amount like the homestead exemption. Rather, it is based on the number of days the servicemember was deployed. For example, if the servicemember was deployed half the year, the exemption would be 50% of the home’s taxable value.
In order to qualify, you must currently have a homestead exemption and then submit the DR501M application with a copy of the deployment orders listing the deployment dates from the previous calendar year. Examples of acceptable proof of deployment might be found on the DD214 or your deployment orders.
An application must be re-filed for each calendar year ending December 31.
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