You may be entitled to additional tax savings with Homestead Portability; also known as Save Our Homes Portability. Portability allows you to transfer up to $500,000 of existing Save Our Homes benefit from one Homestead to another Homestead anywhere in the state of Florida. To be eligible, you must have a “portability” benefit, complete the Save Our Homes Portability Application, and include it with your Homestead Exemption application. If you are unsure whether or not you have a “Portability” benefit amount to transfer to the new residence, please contact the property appraisers office you are selling your HomeSteaded property in and a representative will gladly assist with determining your Portability status.

Q: What is portability?

A: The ability to transfer up to $500,000 of accumulated Save Our Homes “savings” from an existing or prior homestead property to a new homestead property within two years of abandoning your existing or prior homestead. Portability was made possible with the passage of Amendment 1 to the State Constitution in 2008 by Florida voters. The Save Our Homes “savings” is the difference in Market Value and Assessed Value. This is the amount which has been “protected” or “untaxed” due to the benefit of the Save Our Homes 3% assessment limitation or “cap”. Example: Market Value (Total Just Value) from prior homestead of: $250,000 (minus) Assessed Value from prior homestead of: $150,000 equals Portable Amount $100,000

Q: Do I have to apply for portability?

A: Yes, if you desire to “port” a benefit from your prior homestead, you must submit a Save Our Homes Portability Application DR-501T when you file an application for your new homestead exemption. If you have already applied for the homestead exemption, please download and complete the Save Our Homes Portability Application (DR-501T) and submit to the Property Appraiser.

Q: When do I apply for portability?

A: If you have an amount to “port” from an existing or prior homestead, you should apply for Portability when you apply for the new homestead exemption. The deadline is March 1st.

Q: What happens after I apply?

A: After receiving your application for portability, the county will send it to the Property Appraiser in the county of your previous homestead if the county you sold and purchased are differant. Then, your previous Property Appraiser will issue a “Certificate of Portability” DR-501R which will be mailed back to us. We then calculate your portability benefit and apply it to your new homesteaded property.

Q: How will I know that I qualified for Portability?

A: If you do not qualify based on the DR-501R we receive from your previous Property Appraiser, we will notify you by July 1st of the applicable tax year. No formal notice is mailed if you qualify until the TRIM notice which will be sent to you in late August.

Q: What can I do if I am denied Portability?

A: After receiving the denial letter for portability,  you snould to contact your local appraisers office and speak with an Exemptions Specialist to discuss the reason for denial. If you disagree, you may file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board within 30 days of the date of the denial.

Q: Can I also apply for additional exemptions such as disability or senior exemption if I have portability?

A: Yes. The Save Our Homes Tax Portability credit is an additional exemption and will not affect HomeStead Exemptions that you qualify for.

Q: After I’ve sold or abandoned my prior homestead, how long do I have to use my portability?

A: The law allows up to 2 years for transfer of the portability benefit. An example of the 2 year window is if you are applying for homestead for 2020, you must have had homestead and a portability amount on your former property in 2019 or 2018 in order to transfer any portability benefit. In other words, you may only go one tax year without having a homestead exemption in order to transfer or 'port' your savings.

Q: Do I have to sell my home before I can qualify for portability?

A: No, you only need to abandon your existing homestead, meaning you may still own the property but no longer receive an exemption on the property for the year you are attempting to get portability. If you abandon your homestead, or move, notify your local property appraisers office immediately.

Q: Do I have to purchase a new property to get the portability benefit?

A: No, if you already own another property (2nd home, beach house, etc.) you can abandon the homestead from the old property and apply for homestead and the portability benefit on the new property.

Q: I owned a property with another person. I moved and established another homestead; however, they still live in the original property. Can I transfer or “port” my SOH benefit to my new homestead?

A: Possibly, the law requires the previous exemption be “abandoned” before you can port any of the Save Our Homes benefit; meaning, the other person would have to authorize you to take a portion of the portability benefit by abandoning their homestead and then reapply for their portion of homestead and portability. We suggest you contact your local office to discuss your specific scenario.

Q: I owned a property with my ex-husband. I was awarded the house in the divorce. I sold it and purchased a new home that I will homestead. My ex-husband purchased a new home that he will homestead. Since I was awarded the house in the divorce is my ex-husband eligible to apply for any of the portability? How will the portability amount be split or divided between our new homesteads?

A: New legislation allows spouses to designate their respective shares of homestead assessment difference when they abandon a homestead property so they can transfer their designated shares under certain circumstances. Other circumstances could exist that would alter this situation; such as, was the divorce final in 2013 or in 2014? Contact your local office for clarification of your specific situation.

Q: Can I “port” a savings from another state?

A: No, portability applies only if you had a State of Florida homestead exemption within the past 2 years.

Q: How many times in one (1) year can I use portability?

A: One time per year. If you are upsizing it is: Market Value  of existing homesteaded property (minus) Assessed Value of existing homesteaded property (equals) the portable amount (not to exceed $500,000) Market Value (Total Just Value) of new homestead property (minus) Portable amount from prior homesteaded property (equals) New Assessed Value for new homesteaded property If you are downsizing (moving to home of lesser value) it is: Market Value (Total Just Value) of new homestead (divided by) Market Value (Total Just Value) of prior homestead (multiplied by) Assessed Value of prior homestead (equals) Assessed value of new homestead HOWEVER, DON’T WORRY!!! YOU DON’T HAVE TO CALCULATE THIS. Your local Tax appraiser will DO THIS FOR YOU!