Help Us Prevent Homestead Exemption Fraud

If you know or suspect Homestead exemption fraud is taking place, please let us know about it. Contact us via our confidential form.

Homestead fraud occurs when a person who has filed for homestead exemption, or is currently receiving a homestead exemption, is determined not to be a permanent resident of Sarasota County. You may view the Florida requirements for permanent residency here.

It is also illegal for a person or a married couple to claim more than one "residency based exemption" within the U.S. or Puerto Rico.

Fraudulent exemptions steal from our law enforcement, our schools, our medical services and can lower our quality of life in Sarasota County. Those tax dollars have to be made up somewhere, and the honest taxpayers get left making up the difference.

Section 196.031(5), Florida Statutes, states in part that a person who is receiving or claiming the benefit of an ad valorem tax exemption or tax credit in another state where permanent residency is required as a basis for the granting of that ad valorem tax exemption or tax credit is not entitled to the homestead exemption.

Pursuant to Section 196.161(1)(b) of the Florida Statutes, upon determination by the property appraiser that for any year or years within the prior 10 years a person who was not entitled to a homestead exemption was granted a homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes, it shall be the duty of the property appraiser making such a determination to serve upon the owner a notice of intent to record in the public records of the county a notice of tax lien against any property owned by that person in the county, and such property shall be identified in the tax lien. Such property which is situated in the state of Florida shall be subject to the taxes exempted thereby, plus a penalty of 50 percent of the unpaid taxes for each year and 15 percent interest per annum.

Florida law further states that should a person who improperly benefitted from a homestead exemption no longer own property in this county, but own property in some other county or counties in Florida, it shall be the duty of the property appraiser to record a notice of tax lien in such other county or counties, identifying the property owned by such person in such county or counties.

§196.011(9)(a) … “It is the duty of the owner of any property granted an exemption, who is not required to file an annual application or statement, to notify the property appraiser promptly whenever the use of the property or the status or condition of the owner changes so as to change the exempt status of the property”…

We urge you to contact us if you know of or suspect Homestead exemption fraud is taking place in Sarasota County. Call us confidentially at 941.861.8200 or email us using our anonymous form below.

Report Homestead Fraud Confidentially