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Deadlines for filing homestead tax benefits

January 12, 2018
By ERIC FEICHTHALER - Real Estate Law , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Dear Mr. Feichthaler:

I understand that if I apply for homestead prior to March 1, it will apply for the coming calendar year 2018. If I buy a house, close and change my mailing address to the new home now, will I get the property tax reduction?

-Bonnie R.

Dear Bonnie:

You are correct that the deadline for filing for the tax benefits of homestead is on or before March 1, 2018. However, there are several requirements that have to be met before that date. First, you would have to take title on or before Jan. 1, 2018, as a starting point. The property appraiser wants to know where your homestead was on Jan. 1 of the year you are seeking the exemptions. Since you have not taken title yet, you will not be eligible for the tax reduction until 2019. If you did buy a property soon, you can apply anytime after you take title and change your driver's license and mailing address to reflect the new homestead. In fact, I recommend all new homeowners apply as soon as possible, just to make sure the application isn't forgotten. However, it won't take effect for tax purposes until 2019.

Happy house-hunting, and don't forget to make sure you understand the contract fully before signing, or seek professional advice before doing so.

Eric P. Feichthaler has lived in Cape Coral for 28 years and graduated from Mariner High School in Cape Coral. After completing law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., he returned to Southwest Florida to practice law and raise a family. He served as mayor of Cape Coral from 2005-2008, and continued his service to the community through his chairmanship of the Harney Point Kiwanis Club KidsFest from 2011-2015, which provides a free day of fun and learning to thousands of Cape Coral families, and funds numerous scholarships. He has been married to his wife, Mary, for 14 years, and they have four children together. Recently, he earned his board certification in Real Estate Law from the Florida Bar. He is also a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator.

This article is general in nature and not intended as legal advice to anyone. Individuals should seek legal counsel before acting on any matter of legal rights and obligations.



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