Florida Homestead Services -- Florida Homestead Exemption Act MiniBB
Visit our main website at Florida Homestead Services.com
 - Forums - Sign Up - Reply - Search - Statistics -
Questions and Answers Florida Homestead Services -- Florida Homestead Exemption Act MiniBB / Questions and Answers /  

Frequently Asked Questions

Author johnbsims3
Admin 

#1 - Posted: 18 Oct 2006 20:26 
Frequently Asked Questions about homestead and exemptions can be found here http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Please feel free to ask here also.

Author johnbsims3
Admin 

#2 - Posted: 12 Feb 2007 10:27 
Frequently Asked Questions

AGRICULTURAL - If I board horses, have a plant nursery or grow fruit on my property, can I get an agricultural tax break?
DOCUMENTS - Is my homestead application (or other tax return) filed with your office confidential? Will others be able to view it?
DOCUMENTS - Must a property deed be recorded within a certain period of time?
DOCUMENTS - Where can I find a copy of my deed?
DOCUMENTS - Where can I find a copy of my mortgage?
DOCUMENTS - Where can I find a copy of my property survey?
DOCUMENTS - Where can I find copies of recorded property liens?
FORECLOSURES & LIENS - Where can I research property foreclosures or liens?
GENERAL - What does the Property Appraiser' Office do?
GENERAL - What if I change my address?
GENERAL - What is a "Parcel ID Number"? What is a "Folio Number"?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Do I need to re-apply for my Homestead Exemption every year?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Does my existing Homestead Exemption move with me to my new house?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - How do you assess new additions to previously Homesteaded properties?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - How much will I save with a Homestead Exemption?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - What are the requirements for a Homestead Exemption?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - What documents do I need to file for a Homestead Exemption?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - What is "Save Our Homes"?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - What is "portability" for Save Our Homes?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - What is a Declaration of Domicile, do I need one, and where do I get a copy?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Where do I file for a Homestead Exemption?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Will I lose exemptions if I place my home in a life estate for me, and with a remainder to my kids?
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Will I lose my exemptions if I place my home into a trust?
OTHER EXEMPTIONS - What is a "Granny Flat" and how do I claim that exemption?
SENIOR EXEMPTION - Do I need to re-apply for my Senior's Additional Exemption every year?
SENIOR EXEMPTION - How can I qualify for the Seniors' Additional Exemption?
TAXES - Can I pay my tax bill in installments?
TAXES - How can I calculate the estimated taxes on a house I want to buy?
TAXES - How do I get a copy of my tax bill?
TAXES - What is a "TRIM Notice"?
TAXES - When do I get my tax bill? What if I don't get one?
TAXES - Who sets my taxes?
TAXES - You processed a correction to my tax bill. When will I get the refund check?
TPP - Do we need to file a TPP return if we are a church, school or non-profit group?
TPP - How can I obtain a tangible personal property return (DR-405 Form)?
TPP - Is there a minimum value that I do not have to report?
TPP - Must I report tangible personal property that belongs to someone else, or which I furnish to another business?
TPP - What are the TPP filing deadlines? What are the non-filing penalties?
TPP - What happens if I do not file a TPP return?
TPP - What if I buy or sell an existing business during the year?
TPP - What if I don't agree with the assessed TPP value that appears on my TRIM Notice of proposed property taxes?
TPP - What if I have no tangible personal property to report?
TPP - What if I was sent more than one tax return?
TPP - What is Residential Personal Property (RPP)?
TPP - What is Tangible Personal Property (TPP)?
TPP - Who must file a tangible personal property return?
TPP - Why was I sent a tangible personal property return?
VALUATION - How do we appraise your property?
VALUATION - Just what is "just value"?
VALUATION - My neighbor and I have identical homes, so why are my taxes so much higher?
VALUATION - What is the average market value of a single family home? Condo?
VALUATION - Will my assessment go up every year?
VETERANS EXEMPTION - What are the requirements for a Veteran's exemption?
WEBSITE - How often is the website updated?
WEBSITE - Why does your website display my Social Security Number?






AGRICULTURAL - If I board horses, have a plant nursery or grow fruit on my property, can I get an agricultural tax break?
For land to be granted agricultural classification, the use of the land must be primarily for bona fide commercial agriculture.

First and most important, the "use" of the land must be for "agricultural purposes." The Greenbelt Law defines agricultural purposes as including but "not limited to, horticulture; floriculture; viticulture; forestry; dairy; livestock; poultry; bee; pisciculture, when the land is used principally for the production of tropical fish; aquaculture; sod farming; and all forms of farm products and farm production." While this list is broad and inclusive in its general terms and does not necessarily exclude categories not specifically listed, the courts have ruled, for example, that horses are livestock, therefore using the land to keep livestock, whether breeding, boarding, training or for other commercial purposes is agriculture, but the term livestock does not include greyhound dogs, therefore use of the land for raising or training dogs for racing is not an agricultural use.

Second, agricultural use must be the "primary" activity that takes place on the land. If the owner's residence is on the land, the area of the house and grounds will be excluded from the agricultural classification, although it is still eligible for homestead exemption. On the remainder of the land, the agricultural use must be the most significant activity and not merely an incidental use.

Third, the agricultural use must be "commercial," which the courts have defined as meaning done with a profit motive or intent to make a profit. The Courts have also ruled that it is not necessary to have the expectation of meeting the investment costs of the land and realizing a profit overall to be "commercial." However, it is not enough to grow fruit or vegetables for your own use or keep a pet cow or only your own horses for pleasure or sport. While the "commercial" requirement is not as strict as the IRS business standards, you should be trying to make money from the agricultural use of your land.

Fourth, the agricultural use must be bona fide. Again, the courts have ruled this means good faith: as in real, actual and genuine, and not a sham or deception. For example, if you apply for agricultural classification for a horse boarding farm, you should be actually boarding other people's horses on your land. If you apply as a nursery, then you should be growing and selling plants on your land, not using the land to store equipment for a lawn mowing business.

For more detailed information, please contact your County Property Appraiser's Agricultural Section.

DOCUMENTS - Is my homestead application (or other tax return) filed with your office confidential? Will others be able to view it?
Pursuant to Section 193.074, Florida Statutes, your application or tax return is strictly confidential when filed with our office. Interested persons may NOT obtain a copy of it through Florida's Public Records Act -- unless it is requested through a lawful subpoena -- as it is generally exempt from public disclosure.

DOCUMENTS - Must a property deed be recorded within a certain period of time?
No, there is no Florida law requiring a title be recorded within a certain period of time. However, our office does not recognize unrecorded deeds.

DOCUMENTS - Where can I find a copy of my deed?
Go to the Property Search page, read the statement shown, and click on accept. Click on the "Owner Name" button, and search by your Last Name, followed by a comma, and then your First Name. Do not use a space.

After hitting the SEARCH button, you must select your property from a list. To select your property, click on the Folio Number that is in the same row as your address. Now all of the information on your property should be displayed. More than half way down this document, there will be a section labeled "Sales History." Click on top Book Number (colored blue) to be sent to the most current version of the deed.
Copies of recorded deeds and mortgages related to Broward properties are also directly searchable online at the Broward County Records Division website. You may search for deeds, mortgages, liens, release of liens, court judgments, condo declarations, and various other recorded documents on their website. If you have questions for the County Records Division, they may be reached at 954.831.4000. There is no fee for viewing any of these documents. (Note: the County Records Division is NOT affiliated with the Property Appraiser's Office.)

DOCUMENTS - Where can I find a copy of my mortgage?
Copies of recorded mortgages related to Broward properties are directly searchable online at the Broward County Records Division website. You may also search for deeds, liens, release of liens, court judgments, condo declarations, and various other recorded documents on their website. If you have questions for the County Records Division, they may be reached at 954.831.4000. (Note: the County Records Division is NOT affiliated with the Property Appraiser's Office.)

DOCUMENTS - Where can I find a copy of my property survey?
Unfortunately, the Property Appraiser's Office does not have copies of any property surveys. Owners are not required to file surveys with our office -- unless they are seeking to split-off an unplatted portion of their property -- so we very rarely see copies of any surveys. Contact your mortgage company, as it is possible they retained a copy of your survey.

DOCUMENTS - Where can I find copies of recorded property liens?
Copies of recorded liens related to Broward properties are directly searchable online at the Broward County Records Division website. You may also search for deeds, mortgages, release of liens, court judgments, condo declarations, and various other recorded documents on their website. If you have questions for the County Records Division, they may be reached at 954.831.4000. (Note: the County Records Division is NOT affiliated with the Property Appraiser's Office.)

FORECLOSURES & LIENS - Where can I research property foreclosures or liens?
Copies of recorded deeds and mortgages related to Broward properties are directly searchable online at the Broward County Records Division website. You may search for recorded notices of foreclosure, liens, release of liens, court judgments, and various other documents on their website. You can limit your search, for example, to just a specific topic like foreclosures (or liens) by using the CATEGORY feature on their search page. If you have questions for the County Records Division, they may be reached at 954.831.4000. There is no fee for viewing any of these documents. (Note: the County Records Division is NOT affiliated with the Property Appraiser's Office.)

GENERAL - What does the Property Appraiser' Office do?
Our office is responsible for properly assessing every parcel of real and taxable personal property in Broward County on the tax rolls every year. We also take applications for various tax-saving exemptions and make sure everyone receives all the exemptions to which he or she is entitled.

The Property Appraiser DOES NOT set your tax rates! The tax rates are set by the various "taxing authorities" (County Commission, School Board, City Commission, Water Management District, Hospital District, etc.) in whose jurisdiction your property lies. Likewise, our office does NOT collect taxes -- as your payments are sent directly to the Broward County Revenue Collection Division.

If you have any questions about the amount of your assessment, you should contact us. Questions about tax rates (i.e., the amount of your taxes) should be directed to the taxing authority in question. You should contact the Broward County Revenue Collector if you have any questions about payment of taxes. You are supposed to receive a tax bill (or an information copy if your mortgage company receives the original) around November 1. If you do not receive a bill, your address may not be correct and you should download a form to change the address of your property by clicking here.

GENERAL - What if I change my address?
Send a change of address form. Please submit a separate form for each property you own. Sign and send the form to the PA office so they can change the records. Every year, hundreds of people don't receive the notices they send because they failed to inform us of their changed addresses. Don't let this happen to you!

GENERAL - What is a "Parcel ID Number"? What is a "Folio Number"?

We assign every parcel of land in Broward County a unique number called a PARCEL I.D. NUMBER. The State of Florida is divided into geographic land measurements called "townships." These townships are based upon east and west lines every six miles (radiating outward from Tallahassee, which is the "zero township"). The townships in Broward County are South Townships 47, 48, 49, 50 and 51. There are north-south "range" lines every six miles (also beginning in Tallahassee). The ranges in Broward County are East Ranges 39, 40, 41, 42 and 43.Within each six mile square, are thirty-six "Sections", approximately one mile on a side, numbered 01 through 36.

The Folio Number -- which our office used for many years -- is a shortened version of the complete Parcel ID Number. Before recent upgrades, the office's aging mainframe computer system could not handle a property number with the full number of digits. Thus, the folio system was developed (dropping the first and third digits). So, a folio number beginning "0212" would describe land in Section 12, Township 50 South, Range 42 East. If you know the first four numbers of the folio, you know within a square mile where the property is located. The first four digits of folio numbers are the second digit of the township followed by the second digit of the range, and both digits of the section.

Many computerized commercial real estate systems use the complete number, so if you were in a broker's office looking for a property, you might use the number "504212" to begin finding the same property on that system.

The next two numbers of the Parcel ID tell quite a bit about the property. If the numbers are "00", it means you are looking for unplatted acreage. The first subdivision to be recorded in the section is assigned number "01", and so forth. So, if you have folio number 0212 00, you know you are looking at unplatted acreage in Section 12, Township 50 South, Range 42 East. The first condominium or co-op unit to be recorded in a section is lettered "AA"; the second is "AB", and so forth. So, from the middle numbers, we know if we are looking for unplatted acreage, land in a subdivision, or a condo or co-op.

The final three or four numbers tell us which parcel we are looking for. In subdivision "01", we begin numbering "001" for Lot 1 in Block 1, "002" for Lot 2 in Block 1, etc. Should Lot 1 be split, we would number the newly-created parcel "0011". So, Lot 1, Block 1 in Las Olas By the Sea Amended Plat, would be 0212 01 001.

If we miss improvements and make a back-assessment in a future year, we will typically create a new folio number for the back-assessment, which will typically be "xxx9".

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Do I need to re-apply for my Homestead Exemption every year?
No. Each January, our office mails a Renewal Receipt/Change Card to every homesteaded property owner in Broward. If there are NO changes to the use and/or ownership of the property, simply keep the card as your receipt that you were automatically renewed for another year. However, if there are changes, please mark the Change Card accordingly and return it to our office.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Does my existing Homestead Exemption move with me to my new house?
HOMESTEADS DO NOT TRANSFER. A Homestead Exemption does NOT move with an owner from place to place. You MUST file for a new Homestead Exemption if you move. Also: If the former owners of your new home had Homestead on the property, their old homestead will automatically expire at the end of the same year you purchased the property. Likewise, an adult child who inherits a home from a deceased parent does not inherit the homestead

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - How do you assess new additions to previously Homesteaded properties?
A property owner needs to understand how the existing Save Our Homes value will be impacted if s/he builds an addition onto an already homesteaded property. The Answer: We generally use what is called "THE COST APPROACH" (i.e., the South Florida fair market replacement construction cost -- on a square foot basis -- for an addition of the same quality). Thus, if the fair market construction cost of your addition is $100,000, you would see no more than $100,000 added to your pre-existing Save Our Homes value. In the future, the combination of your pre-existing Save Our Homes value plus the cost-basis value of the addition would be your new Save Our Homes base value (subject to the 3% increase cap).

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - How much will I save with a Homestead Exemption?
Based on 2006 data, an eligible Broward County property owner saved approximately $553 each year due to the Homestead Exemption -- plus an average of $2,700 more from the "Save Our Homes" 3% tax assessment cap that automatically comes with your Homestead Exemption. Your actual savings will vary -- higher or lower -- depending upon the value of your property and the length of time you have homesteaded it. The longer you own your homesteaded property, the more you are likely to save due to the Save Our Homes protection.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - What are the requirements for a Homestead Exemption?
You are entitled to a $25,000 Homestead Exemption if as of January 1 of the year for which you are applying, you are:

A permanent resident of Florida;
who owns real property ("legal title" or "beneficial title in equity" - i.e., the property is held in a trust);
and the instrument by which you hold title is recorded in the official records of Broward County;
and you reside thereon and in good faith make the same your permanent residence, or the permanent residence of another or others legally or naturally dependent upon you.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - What documents do I need to file for a Homestead Exemption?
FOR ALL APPLICANTS:
* Florida Drivers License OR Florida I.D. Card; AND
* Proof of Broward Voter Registration OR a Declaration of Domicile.

FOR PERMANENT RESIDENT ALIENS:
The above items, PLUS ...
* Permanent Resident "Green Card," or proof of asylum, or INS I-485 letter showing that application to convert to permanent resident status is complete.

NOTE: A "Valid in Florida Only" driver's license is NOT sufficient for Homestead purposes. You must surrender your out-of-state license in favor of a Florida license in order to qualify for Homestead.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - What is "Save Our Homes"?
"Save Our Homes" is an amendment to the Florida Constitution that the voters passed in 1992. A taxpayer AUTOMATICALLY receives the Save Our Homes protection starting the year after first obtaining a homestead exemption. This law limits the increase in assessed value for properties receiving the Homestead Exemption to no more than 3% or the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), no matter how much larger the increase in just value would otherwise be. The limit does not cover new construction or construction that was not taxed before the "Save Our Homes" limit applied to a particular property. It also does not apply when a property sells -- because the new owner starts the limitation all over again once he or she qualifies for Homestead Exemption.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - What is "portability" for Save Our Homes?
Are You Locked Into Your House Because of the "Save Our Homes" Tax Cap?

The "Save Our Homes" (SOH) Amendment in Florida's Constitution was intended to prevent homeowners from being taxed out of their homes due to rapidly rising real estate values. It met that goal, but caused many other problems along the way. The Good News: The SOH cap limits increases in the assessed value of a homesteaded property to no more than 3% per year -- regardless of how much more the property increases in market value. Because of this, Florida law favors owners who stay in their homesteaded property for many years. The longer you stay and the more your property rises in market value, the more you save. The Bad News: If you sell your home at current market values and buy a new home, today's higher property values will likely cause your annual property tax bill to double, triple or quadruple even if you buy a comparable (or, possibly, even smaller or older) residence nearby. That fact alone causes many of us to stay put -- financially "locked" in our homes -- because we cannot afford the high property taxes if we move.

Property Appraiser Lori Parrish supports adopting a new constitutional amendment allowing homesteaded owners to move their sheltered SOH value from one primary residence to the next one in the same county under a governmental "local option." This concept is named PORTABILITY. Here is how it could work: Your current home has a market value of $300,000 and a SOH assessed value of $175,000 -- meaning the difference ($125,000) is the amount sheltered by SOH. If you sell that house and buy a new one for $325,000 (and qualify for homestead), your initial assessment for property taxes would be just $200,000 (the math: $325,000 Market Value minus the $125,000 portable SOH differential). It wouldn't be retroactive, but -- if Florida's voters approve the amendment -- portability could provide freedom and tax relief for many families.

If you support this idea, please contact your State Senator and State Representative to urge them to approve legislation placing this proposed Save Our Homes Portability Amendment on the November 2008 statewide ballot (i.e., the soonest it could possibly be placed on the ballot).

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - What is a Declaration of Domicile, do I need one, and where do I get a copy?
A declaration of domicile is a sworn statement indicating your place of residence. It is required for homestead exemption when the applicant is not registered to vote. You may obtain a copy of declaration of domicile form by clicking here.

More information about declarations of domicile can be found on the Broward County Records Division website.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Where do I file for a Homestead Exemption?
You can file for a Homestead Exemption online by clicking here ... or at any of our offices (click here for office locations and hours). We also hold community outreach events at various Locations throughout the year.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Will I lose exemptions if I place my home in a life estate for me, and with a remainder to my kids?
Your homestead exemption will stay intact if you transfer a future interest to your children (or domestic partner, friend or others) but retain a life estate for yourself. This will also protect your existing Save Our Homes value.

Note: After your death (which will automatically end your life estate), your exemptions will also expire, the property will be reassessed at market rate the next year, and your remainder heirs will need to qualify for a new homestead exemption (if they move onto the property and want to claim homestead).

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Will I lose my exemptions if I place my home into a trust?
So long as you retain sufficient control over the trust (i.e., including the right to live on the property) OR are the named beneficiary of the trust with the right to live upon the property for life (or for at least 98 years), it should not cause any problems for maintaining your homestead and other exemptions. Once you place the property into a trust, please complete and return a notarized Certificate of Trust form to our office to ensure your exemptions and Save Our Homes value remain intact. Ask your attorney for advice, as creating a proper trust can be complicated.

OTHER EXEMPTIONS - What is a "Granny Flat" and how do I claim that exemption?
Taxpayers who build additions onto an existing home or perform extensive renovations to provide living quarters for a parent or grandparent may be entitled to a special exemption equal to the amount of the new construction (up to 20% of the homestead value). To be eligible, the property owner must have a Homestead Exemption on the property where the parent or grandparent quarters are constructed. The construction or reconstruction must be properly permitted and comply with all local land development regulations. Copies of all permits, certificate of occupancy, and plans must be submitted to the Property Appraiser's Office. Construction or reconstruction must be substantially complete after January 7, 2003 and before January 1st of the year in which the reduction is requested. Application must be filed with the Property Appraiser's Office annually on or before March 1st of each year. The occupant(s) of the quarters must be a parent or grandparent. The occupant(s) must be at least 62 years of age by January 1st of the year in which the reduction is requested. The occupant(s) must permanently reside on the property on or before January 1st. of the year in which the reduction is requested. The occupant(s) cannot receive any benefits requiring a declaration of permanent residency on any other property in any other County or State.

SENIOR EXEMPTION - Do I need to re-apply for my Senior's Additional Exemption every year?
Yes. By Florida law, you must sign and return a renewal card to our office each year to maintain your $25,000 Senior Exemption. Once you have qualified for this exemption, our office will mail you a renewal card every year in early February.

SENIOR EXEMPTION - How can I qualify for the Seniors' Additional Exemption?
Many Florida senior citizens are eligible to claim an additional $25,000 exemption on homesteaded property. This additional exemption -- which applies only to the County's portion of the taxes and city taxes for residents of cities that also adopted the additional exemption -- saves the average Broward senior nearly $300 each year in taxes. In order to qualify for the $25,000 Senior's Additional Exemption for this year, an applicant must be 65 or older as of January 1 of this year AND have a combined HOUSEHOLD adjusted gross income for last year (2006) not exceeding $24,214 (adjusted annually by the percentage change in the average cost-of-living index). Please click here to learn more about filing for the Senior's Additional Exemtion.

TAXES - Can I pay my tax bill in installments?
Our office does NOT send out the tax bills -- nor do we collect the tax payments. The office you need to contact is the County Revenue Collection Division. The Revenue Collection Division does have an installment plan for taxpayers.

TAXES - How can I calculate the estimated taxes on a house I want to buy?
That's easy. Simply click here and follow the easy instructions. This calculator probably skews a little bit high in most circumstances with the estimated amount -- but that conservative figure will better help with your mortgage planning.

TAXES - How do I get a copy of my tax bill?
The Broward County Revenue Collection Division sends out the tax bills by November 1 of each year. If you have an escrow account with your mortgage company, the bill is sent directly to the mortgage company and you are sent a courtesy copy. If you want to obtain a copy of your tax bill, please contact the Revenue Collection Division at 954.831.4000. You may also research your tax bill and recent payment history on the Revenue Collection Division website.

TAXES - What is a "TRIM Notice"?
In 1980, the Florida Legislature passed the "Truth In Millage" (TRIM) law. The law is designed to inform you of your rights as a taxpayer. Our office mails TRIM Notices to every property owner of record each year in mid-August. To protect your rights as a taxpayer, the TRIM Notice tells you:

1. The proposed market value and assessed value of your property this year as compared to last year;

2. Tax-saving exemptions, if any, on your property this year and last year; and

3. The tax amounts and special fees proposed by each of your various taxing authorities (School Board, County Commission, City Commission, etc.); a comparison of the proposed new taxes versus last year's taxes; and the locations and dates of the public hearings where you can voice your views on the proposed rates.

If you believe the proposed TAXES are too high: Exercise your rights as a citizen by speaking out. Attend the public hearings listed on the TRIM Notice. Let your elected officials hear from you! (Note: The Property Appraiser does NOT set any tax rates.)

If you believe the ASSESSED VALUE of your property is higher than the fair market value: Contact our office to discuss your property's value with one of our Deputy Appraisers. If we are not able to quickly resolve the matter, be sure to file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board by the September 18, 2007 deadline. Likewise, if an EXEMPTION is missing from your property, please contact us immediately.

IMPORTANT: If you wait until you receive your tax bill in November, it will be TOO LATE to make any changes to your assessed value and the tax rates.

TAXES - When do I get my tax bill? What if I don't get one?
The Broward County Revenue Collection Division sends out the tax bills by November 1 of each year. If you have an escrow account with your mortgage company, the bill is sent directly to the mortgage company and you are sent a courtesy copy.

If you do not receive a bill, it is your duty under the law to go to the Revenue Collector's office, find out the amount of taxes owing, and to pay them. If you don't pay them by April 1 of the following year, the Revenue Collector's Office will sell a tax certificate to an investor -- and this will cost you extra dollars to resolve. Don't let that happen!

We send all tax notices to the address shown on the deed by which you obtained title to your property until you notify us otherwise.

TAXES - Who sets my taxes?
The amount of your tax bill depends on two factors. The first is the assessed value of your property, which is our responsibility. The second is the tax rate, expressed as dollars per thousand, for each taxing body in which your property is located. For example, your property might be subject to taxes by Broward County, the School Board, a City, a Hospital District and multi-county districts such as the South Florida Water Management District. The sum of each of these tax rates is multiplied by your assessed value and equals the amount of taxes you are called on to pay. If you believe your assessment is too high, contact our office. If you think that your taxes are too high, contact the governing body of the jurisdiction in question. Each taxing body is required to hold two hearings before they set the tax rate. They welcome responsible comments from taxpayers like you when setting their budgets and tax rates.

TAXES - You processed a correction to my tax bill. When will I get the refund check?
While our office processes the corrections paperwork, the Broward County Revenue Collection Division is responsible for issuing the refund payments. The Revenue Collection Division typically issues refund checks 8-10 weeks after our office prepares the paperwork.

Note: Refunds involving previous tax years must also be approved by the Florida Department of Revenue in Tallahassee. This can often add an additional delay to the processing time.

TPP - Do we need to file a TPP return if we are a church, school or non-profit group?
If you are a church, school, or other non-profit entity which may be eligible for a total exemption from TPP and/or real property taxes, please click here to read more about these special exemptions.

TPP - How can I obtain a tangible personal property return (DR-405 Form)?
If you did not receive a return in the mail, please click here to download a copy of the DR-405 form. Be sure your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Social Security Number, and the Property Appraiser's account number (####-###-X) appear on the return you file. If you operate under a DBA (Doing Business As) name, please indicate the legal name of the entity and the DBA.

TPP - Is there a minimum value that I do not have to report?
There is no minimum amount that exempts you from the filing requirements. You must report all tangible personal property. However, if your resulting tax amount is less than $5, you will not receive a tax bill.

TPP - Must I report tangible personal property that belongs to someone else, or which I furnish to another business?
Yes. Page 2 of the return requires you to list property used in your business which is owned by others. Typical examples are postage meters, telephone systems, copiers, etc. If you own tangible personal property that you lease to others and is typically located in Broward County, you must report this property on Page 1, line 22 of your return.

TPP - What are the TPP filing deadlines? What are the non-filing penalties?
Your return must be filed with our office by April 1 (pursuant to Section 193.062, Florida Statutes). If you are unable to file your return before April 1, you may file a request for a 30-day extension. Pursuant to Section 193.063, Florida Statutes, this request must be filed in a reasonable amount of time BEFORE the April 1 deadline so our office may act upon it in a timely manner before the due date.

After April 1, if you did not make a timely request for extension, we are required by state law (Section 193.072, Florida Statutes) to apply a penalty of 5% per month (up to a maximum of 25%) for late-filed TPP returns, a 15% penalty for unreported property, and a 25% penalty when no return is filed.

TPP - What happens if I do not file a TPP return?
Even if a tax return is not timely filed by April 1, we are still required to assess all tangible personal property. We will make our best estimate based on similar equipment and assets owned by other similar businesses. The assessment will also include a 25% penalty for non-filing -- so it is in your best interest to file a timely return every year.

TPP - What if I buy or sell an existing business during the year?
Tangible personal property taxes constitute a lien against the property, and are not a personal obligation of the owner. If you buy tangible personal property during the year, you should obtain a copy of paid tax bills for prior years and the seller's return and make an agreeable proration of the current year's taxes. Most title companies do not search the public records for unpaid tangible personal property taxes. You must report the property at your cost rather than your seller's cost. Please furnish our office with any allocation of purchase price documents, including I.R.S. Form 8594 (Allocation of Purchase Price), if the personal property was acquired with other assets.

TPP - What if I don't agree with the assessed TPP value that appears on my TRIM Notice of proposed property taxes?
Each year, we send a TRIM Notice of proposed property taxes listing your assessment for that year. If you have information that the appraised value is higher than the market value of your property, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you and review all of the pertinent facts. If, after speaking with us, you are still not satisfied, you have 25 days from the August mailing date of the TRIM Notice to file a petition with the Broward County Value Adjustment Board (VAB). This deadline is always in mid-September of each year. Click here to read more about the VAB appeal process.

TPP - What if I have no tangible personal property to report?
Almost every business owner has some personal property to report, even if it is only supplies, rented/leased equipment or fully depreciated/expensed property.

TPP - What if I was sent more than one tax return?
You must file a return for each physical location in Broward County where you have tangible personal property. You will notice that the account numbers are different on each return. Even if you have sold the business or no longer have tangible personal property at a particular location, you must return the form with an explanation.

TPP - What is Residential Personal Property (RPP)?
If you own residential rental property, what would normally be household goods if you were living there such as stoves, refrigerators and furniture becomes taxable Tangible Personal Property which must be reported each year. All tangible personal property must be reported, even if it has been fully depreciated or has been "expensed" on your books.

TPP - What is Tangible Personal Property (TPP)?
According to Section 192.001, Florida Statutes, "tangible personal property" means all goods, chattels, and other articles of value capable of manual possession and whose chief value is intrinsic to the article itself.

Inventory held for resale and household goods for the owner's personal use are exempt from taxation.

While real property is not subject to taxation as tangible personal property, many items such as signs, parking lot bumpers, exterior lighting, alarm systems and leasehold improvements are taxed as personal property.

The comprehensive guidelines for the assessment of tangible personal property are determined by the Florida Legislature and are enforced by the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR). Click here to view the DOR Tangible Personal Property Appraisal Guidelines.

The State of Florida taxes intangible personal property and you must file your intangible return directly with the Department of Revenue by June 30 of each year. All other property held for business use is taxable as tangible personal property.

TPP - Who must file a tangible personal property return?
Any person or entity that owns or possesses tangible personal property located in Florida as of the January 1 tax assessment date must file a DR-405 tangible property return with the Property Appraiser in the county where the property is (or was) physically located on the assessment date.

TPP - Why was I sent a tangible personal property return?
You either filed a return last year or our office believes you have property that should be reported.

VALUATION - How do we appraise your property?
Every year, we examine the market in all types of property. We look at income and expense information from income-producing properties. And, we look at construction costs, particularly for properties that don't often sell. This information is used in our Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system which helps our highly skilled residential and commercial appraisers value your property.

We rely heavily on the forms which are presented to the Broward County Recording Division when deeds are recorded. Those forms tell us whether there was personal property or unusual terms of sale involved with a particular transaction. The documentary stamp tax on deeds only applies to real estate, so buyers and sellers of property should be certain not to stamp the deed for anything other than real estate.

VALUATION - Just what is "just value"?
The Florida Constitution requires us to value all property at its just value. The Florida Supreme Court settled the matter by ruling in the 1965 case of Walter v. Schuler that "just value" is the same as "market value." Market value is the cash amount that a hypothetical willing buyer would pay for your property to a hypothetical willing seller on the open market. Thus, the actions of people who buy and sell property like yours set the value of your property.

VALUATION - My neighbor and I have identical homes, so why are my taxes so much higher?
Here's a common story we hear: "My neighbor and I own identical homes. Both were built in the same year. Both sit on identical sized lots. My neighbor bought her house six years ago and I just purchased my home last year. My estimated tax bill for this year is $10,530 -- but my neighbor's bill is only $6,220. There must be a mistake!"

Unfortunately, we hear this story several times a day. A provision in Florida's Constitution -- the "Save Our Homes" Amendment -- causes this disparity and confusion. Overwhelmingly adopted by Florida voters, Save Our Homes was intended to prevent homeowners from being taxed out of their homes in the face of rapidly rising real estate values. The Save Our Homes cap limits increases in assessed value of homesteaded properties to no more than 3% per year -- regardles

Questions and Answers Florida Homestead Services -- Florida Homestead Exemption Act MiniBB / Questions and Answers /
Frequently Asked Questions
Top
Your Reply Click this icon to move up to the quoted message
 

 ?
Only registered users are allowed to post here. Please, enter your username/password details upon posting a message, or register first.
 
  Powered by Open Source Forum Script miniBB®