The Benefits And Burdens Of Marriage When It Comes To Your Florida Homestead Property Tax Exemption

The Benefits And Burdens Of Marriage When It Comes To Your Florida Homestead Property Tax Exemption

As of January 6, 2015, Florida began recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions and issuing marriage licenses for same-sex marriages to be performed in Florida. This is indeed a tremendous step forward for equality. This new legal status for married same-sex couples allows for ownership of real property by the married couple as Tenants By The Entireties.


TENANTS BY THE ENTIRETY (TBTE): This applies only to married couples. This TBTE status -- which is automatic when the Grantees of a deed are identified as a married couple -- gives each spouse overlapping 100% interests in their Homestead Property Tax Exemption, full exemption coverage (when one spouse receives the Homestead Exemption), and rights of survivorship (inheritance) for the surviving spouse.

The creation of a tenancy by the entireties is not automatic as a result of marriage. A new deed changing the ownership type of a couple to a married couple must be recorded in Public Records. Be sure to consult with your attorney and get her/his assistance before making changes to the ownership of your property.


Under Florida law, married couples are only permitted one Homestead Exemption/permanent residency based property tax exemption. Prior to January 6, 2015, same-sex couples married outside of Florida could maintain two permanent residency based property tax exemptions because their legal status was not recognized in Florida. Now, same-sex married couples (as any married couple) cannot claim more than one Florida Homestead Exemption and cannot claim a Florida Homestead Exemption if either person is claiming a permanent residency based property tax exemption anywhere in the world.

Since recognition of same-sex marriages in Florida took place after January 1, 2015, beginning with the 2016 tax year same-sex married couples will be subject to a loss of their Florida Homestead Exemption, back assessment liens, penalties, and interest, if they are found to be claiming a Florida Homestead Exemption and another permanent residency based exemption anywhere else. Florida law requires a Homestead Exemption recipient/applicant to notify the Property Appraiser of any change in circumstance which affects her/his eligibility for exemption. To avoid any of these consequences, married couples should determine which Homestead Exemption/permanent residency based exemptions to surrender and which one to keep as soon as possible then notify the Property Appraiser’s Office of their decision.

For more information about Homestead Exemptions, visit the "Homesteads & Other Exemptions" section of our website, call 954-357-6035, or email [email protected].

Linda Stevenson Headshot
Phone: 603-264-6920
Dated: January 10th 2015
Views: 324
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