Tax Tips

Primary Residence

Mortgage Interest Deduction: Sarasota and Manatee County Florida homeowners can take a mortgage interest deduction and deduct all of the interest paid on any loan (home equity loan, mortgage, line of credit, or home improvement) that is secured by his or her personal residence. They can't deduct the portion of the payment that goes toward repaying the principal amount of the loan.


Real Estate Tax Deduction: Real estate taxes are fully deductible, whether they are imposed by the
state, county, city, township, or some other local government body. The deduction is not limited to only two principal residences.


Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Homeowners
who have less than 20% downpayment must pay private mortgage insurance to insure that the remaining balance of their mortgage is paid in the event that they default on the loan payments. Taxpayers can also deduct this expense.   


2nd Home Tax Deductions: Second home owners in Sarasota and Manatee County Florida are eligible for a mortgage interest tax deduction. This deduction is only available to second home owners who utilize the residence at least 14 days per year. Second homeowners may also deduct the real property taxes paid on the residence.  


Rental Real Property: Individuals who rent their Sarasota or Manatee county Florida residence will be taxed on the income in the year it is received. To offset the rental income, the Sarasota and Manatee county home owner can deduct rental related expenses (mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance premiums, utilities, property manager and other costs) and claim a depreciation deduction based on 80% of the value of the residence.If you rent the Sarasota or Manatee county Florida out for 14 or fewer days during the year, the owner will not be taxed on the rental payments received.  Home owners who rent their Sarasota or Manatee county Florida residence out for greater than 14 days must report all the rental income received.



Is it necessary to file for homestead exemption every year? After you receive the first homestead exemption, it will be renewed automatically as long as you continue to own and occupy the same residence as a permanent Florida resident.   

What if I convert my home to a rental property or otherwise change its use? Any change, including the conversion to rental property, that results in the residence no longer being used as your homestead, may cause you to lose the homestead and other exemptions.  


Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify? US citizenship is not required for homestead exemption. You will need to present a permanent residence visa card or other document granting you permanent residence status dated by January 1 of the year for which you are filing.   

What if the property is held in trust? A homestead exemption can be granted if you have a beneficial interest or equitable title to the property and meet all other qualifications.  

What can happen to my Homestead Exemption if I rent out rooms or my house (Air B&B)? The renting of rooms/your home can cause you to lose your Homestead Exemption.


The Florida "Homestead Tax Exemption" is a  valuable exemption you can have on your Sarasota or Manatee County residence. It provides an annual savings on your real estate tax bill.  Additional savings are available if you qualify for certain personal exemptions (widows, widowers and disabled persons). The Homestead Exemption Defined: The homestead exemption reduces the taxable value of real property by up to $25,000. It is an ad valorem tax exemption provided by Florida law for qualified residents who own and reside on the property as their permanent residence. Properties that receive the homestead exemption qualify under the "Save Our Homes" Amendment and may realize additional benefits. Who is Entitled to Homestead Exemption?  Florida statutes set firm requirements for persons receiving the homestead exemption. The criteria for eligibility: (i) individuals;  (ii) deed establishing ownership or beneficial interest as of January 1 must be recorded in the Public Records before your exemption can be approved; and (iii) a permanent resident of Florida as of January 1.

---------------------------------------------------------------- "Save Our Homes" Amendment: The amendment, which affects homestead exempt property, limits the yearly assessed value increases to no more than three (3%) percent of the prior year's assessment or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less, but never more than the current year's just (market) value.