Homestead Tax Deferral Program
The program is designed to assist homestead tax exempt taxpayers to defer a portion of their property taxes. The amount that can be deferred is based on age and the adjusted gross income of all members of the household:
- If the last year’s adjusted gross income for all members of the household was less than $10,000.
- If taxes and assessments are more than 5% of the adjusted income of all members of the household.
- If the applicant is younger than 65 years old – Taxes must exceed 5% of the applicant’s household income.
- If the applicant is 65 or older- Taxes must exceed 3% of the applicant’s household income.
The deferred portion becomes a first Lien on the property with interest, which accrues until the taxes are paid, and cannot exceed 7 percent.
All deferred taxes plus interest constitute a prior lien on the homestead per Florida Statute 197.262 and are due and payable with any changes in:
- Property use
- Homestead exemption eligibility
- Change in ownership
- Failure to maintain the required Fire and Extended Insurance coverage.
Eligibility Requirements for the Homestead Tax Deferral Program
- Must be entitled to claim homestead tax exemption. To qualify for the homestead tax exemption, contact the Highlands County Property Appraiser’s Office at (863) 402-6659 or their website here.
- Proof of fire and extended home insurance coverage in an amount at least equal to the total of all outstanding liens, including a lien for deferred taxes, non-ad valorem assessments, and interest, with a loss payable clause to the Tax Collector. A clause obligating the Insurance carrier to notify the Tax Collector of cancellation or non-renewal.
- Provide proof of income – Federal Income Tax return or Social Security Form
- Required to submit an annual application for tax deferral with the Tax Collector on or before March 31st, following the year in which the taxes and non-ad valorem assessments are assessed.
Homestead Tax Deferral Application
- To receive an application for Homestead Tax Deferral, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PLEASE NOTE: A homestead tax deferral is NOT an application for homestead tax exemption. Homestead tax exemptions applications must be done by the Highlands County Property Appraiser’s Office. For more information, please contact them at (863) 402-6659 or their website here.