If I sell my home and buy a new one, will I lose all the tax savings I’ve accumulated over the years?
No. Florida’s Save Our Homes (SOH) provision allows you to transfer all or a significant portion of your tax benefit, up to $500,000, from a Florida home with a homestead exemption to a new home within the state of Florida that qualifies for a homestead exemption. This is referred to as “portability.”
E file for Portability when E filing for your Homestead Exemption, click here.
If you have already filed for a Homestead Exemption and need only to file for Portability, click here for the Portability application (hard copy).
How does portability work?
If your new residence has a higher market value than your former residence, the portability amount is determined by subtracting the assessed value of the former home from its market value. For example, if the market value of your previous home is $250,000, but the assessed value is $150,000 because of the SOH benefit, then the assessed value of your new home will be reduced by $100,000, and the 3 percent SOH cap will continue on that portion of your new home’s assessed value. If the new residence has a lower market value, you can transfer a percentage of the difference from your previous property to your new home. To qualify for portability, you must establish your new residence on or before January 1 of the third year after leaving or selling your prior residence.
Sound complicated? Don’t worry, we handle the math for you. If you qualify for portability, we will send you a portability transfer form when your new homestead exemption is approved. You can find out how much you have accumulated in SOH savings by doing a property search on our website and clicking on the portability button. The deadline to file an application for portability is March 1.
Important points to consider when filing for Portability:
- To transfer your assessment difference you must have established a new homestead on or before January 1 of the third year after abandoning your previous homestead.
- If you and your spouse (or former spouse) would like to designate shares of the homestead assessment difference then you must file a Designation of Ownership Shares form before you file your portability application.
- All owners of a jointly owned previous homestead must abandon that homestead in order for the assessment difference to be transferred.
- Apply for Portability when you apply for Homestead Exemption on your new property.
If our office denies your portability application, you will have an opportunity to file an appeal with Palm Beach County’s Value Adjustment Board.
For any questions, contact our Portability staff at 561.355.2866 for more information.