Qualifying and Applying for a Homestead Exemption

To view the application for Homestead Exemption click on Form DR-501. It is also posted on the Orange County and Seminole County Property Appraiser websites. Or click here for all other county websites. 

What is Homestead Exemption?

Homestead Exemption is a tax reduction allowable to homeowners who make their property their permanent residence. If approved, this exemption could reduce the taxable value of your residence by up to $50,000. The first $25,000 of this exemption applies to all taxing authorities. The second $25,000 of exemption excludes School Board taxes and applies to properties with assessed values between $50,000 and $75,000. As a result, the homeowner would enjoy a substantial savings on the taxes levied on their property by the various taxing authorities.

Homeowners must file an initial application once they have moved into the property. The Homestead Exemption will be automatically renewed each year and a renewal receipt will be mailed to them as long as NO changes have occurred to their exemption status. (i.e. mailing address, marital status, etc.)

It is, however, the responsibility of the owner to notify the Property Appraiser of any change in their exemption status. Florida law requires the filing of a new application when any title change is made.


When is the deadline for getting Homestead Exemption?

There are two deadlines which must be met in order to benefit from the Homestead Exemption:

1. In order to meet the qualification deadline for the exemption you must be a Florida resident and own and occupy the property as your permanent residence on January 1st of the year you claim the exemption. You may also qualify for the exemption if you have a beneficial interest in the property under a 98 year lease or a life estate.

2. In order to meet the application deadline you must apply by March 1st of the year for which you are claiming the exemption.

To view the application for Homestead Exemption click on 
Form DR-501. It is also posted on the Orange County and Seminole County Property Appraiser websites. Or click here for all other county websites. 


If filing for the first time, be prepared to answer these questions:

  • Whose name or names were recorded on the title on January 1?
  • What is the street address of the property?
  • Were you living in the dwelling on January 1?
  • Do you claim homestead in another county or state?

If one spouse holds the title, the other spouse may file for the exemption with the consent of the titleholder.

Your property appraiser may ask for any of the following items as proof of your residency:

Previous residency outside Florida and date ended
Florida driver license or identification card number
Evidence of giving up driver license from other state
Florida vehicle tag number
Florida voter registration number (if US citizen)
Declaration of domicile, residency date
Current employer
Address listed on your last IRS return
School location of dependent children
Bank statement and checking account mailing address
Proof of payment of utilities at homestead address


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