Under the Homestead Property Tax Deferral Act, any person who is entitled to claim homestead tax exemption under the applicable statute may elect to defer the payment of a portion of the combined total of the ad valorem taxes and any non-ad valorem assessments levied on that person's homestead. To obtain the deferral, one must file an annual application for tax deferral with the county tax collector on or before January 31 following the year in which the taxes and non-ad valorem assessments are assessed.
Upon approval of an application for homestead tax deferral, the combined total of ad valorem taxes and non-ad valorem assessments, which exceeds 5 percent of the applicant's household income for the prior calendar year if the applicant is younger than 65 years old, shall be deferred. The percent changes to 3 percent of the amount in excess of the applicant's household income for the prior calendar year if the applicant is 65 years old or older. Further, the combined total of ad valorem taxes and non-ad valorem assessments may be deferred in their entirety if the applicant's household income for the previous calendar year is less than $10,000; or is less than the designated amount for the additional homestead exemption under Section 196.075, Florida Statutes, and the applicant is 65 years old or older.
It is important to note that all deferrals pursuant to the Homestead Property Tax Deferral Act will constitute a lien on the applicant's homestead. Further, the Homestead Property Tax Deferral Act does not prevent the collection of personal property taxes that become a lien against tax-deferred homestead property, nor does it defer payment of special assessments to benefited property other than those specifically allowed to be deferred. It does not affect any provision of any mortgage or other instrument relating to property requiring a person to pay ad valorem taxes or non-ad valorem assessments. On the other hand, if a mortgagee elects to pay the taxes when the applicant qualifies for tax deferral, then such election does not give the mortgagee the right to foreclose.
The law firm of DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis P.A., does not specialize in tax law and any individual seeking to employ the above tax deferment methods should seek independent counsel and advice pertaining to tax and estate ramifications.