1. File The DR-501T Form With Your County Property Appraiser By March 1st
To file for Portability you must file the DR501T form with your county Property Appraiser’s office no later than March 1st for the year in which you want the Portability savings to be applied. Many counties will allow you to also file this form electronically, and some will automatically attach the DR501T form if you state in your online filing that you had a prior Homestead in Florida in the previous two calendar years. If you file online, be sure and check back before the filing deadline to make sure that your filing was processed. The filing deadline for Portability each year is March 1st.
2. Late Portability Filing - If It’s Past March 1st
If you have missed the March 1st filing deadline in some cases you can file late. The latest date on which you can file is 25 days after the date on which the Truth in Millage Rate (“TRIM”) Notices are mailed, which is around Sept. 10th of each year. If you missed filing by March 1st for Homestead, then you can contact your Property Appraiser’s office, advise them that you missed the filing date, and you’ll have to tell them the reason that you missed the filing date. If they turn you down for late filing, then don’t give up! You can you file a Value Adjustment Board application requesting that they approve your late filing and paying a $15 filing fee. To be approved, the Property Appraiser or VAB must find that you had “particular extenuating circumstances”. Be sure that you file any VAB petition by the latest date for filing given above. If you are unsuccessful in getting approval for late filing or you are already past the last date for filing late, it’s not the end of the world, it just means that your savings from your Portability transfer won’t go into effect until next year. You will have until March 1st of next year to file, but be sure that you go down and file the Form DR501T early so you don’t forget- you can go ahead and file it now!
What year will your Homestead filing be effective?
Look back the two PRIOR years before that, and if you had a Homestead exemption in place in Florida in either of those prior two years then you are eligible to transfer your Homestead Savings™ from that Homestead. To file for Portability you must file the DR501T form with your county Property Appraiser’s office. Many counties will allow you to also file this form electronically, and some will automatically attach the DR501T form if you state in your online filing that you had a prior Homestead in Florida in the previous two calendar years. Again, if you file online, be sure and check back before the filing deadline to make sure that your filing was processed. The filing deadline for Portability each year is March 1st.
3. A Note About Maximizing Your Portability Savings
Your Homestead Savings™ are defined as the difference between the Market Value of your property and the Assessed Value of your property. The higher your Market Value, the higher your Homestead Savings™. When you purchased your Homestead property the Market Value of it could vary from year to year in accordance with the behavior of the real estate market but your Assessed Value could not go up any more than 3% a year, or the consumer price index, whichever is less. Unfortunately, we see quite often that the Market Value of Homestead properties are not adjusted upwards on the tax rolls, and when most taxpayers get their Truth in Millage Rate Notice (TRIM) notice each August, they look and see a Market Value that is way lower than what they know their home is worth, and they think that they are getting away with something or somehow saving money. The opposite is true! If your Market Value is too low, then since Homestead Savings™ = Market Value – Assessed Value, a low Market Value reduces your Homestead Savings™. The solution is to always make sure that your Market Value is accurate. The best way to do this is to sign up for Homestead Monitoring™ and we’ll check it each year for you. If you don’t sign up for Homestead Monitoring™, then you need to remember to either check it yourself, or order a Homestead Check™ each year.
Latest Homestead Help Articles
Stay up to date with the latest Homestead and property tax related articles and stories. You can also find helpful tips and articles explaining Florida’s complicated Homestead Laws that walk you through the process for correcting issues.
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