Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1256
       By Senator Polsky
       29-01710-21                                           20211256__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to homestead exemption for seniors 65
    3         and older; amending s. 196.075, F.S.; revising
    4         provisions to require certain taxpayers to submit a
    5         claim for homestead exemption only one time if certain
    6         conditions are met; requiring the property appraiser
    7         to provide specified information related to income
    8         limitations on an annual basis; providing sanctions
    9         for taxpayers who received homestead exemptions but
   10         were not entitled to such exemptions; providing an
   11         effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Paragraph (d) of subsection (4) and subsection
   16  (5) of section 196.075, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   17         196.075 Additional homestead exemption for persons 65 and
   18  older.—
   19         (4) An ordinance granting an additional homestead exemption
   20  as authorized by this section must meet the following
   21  requirements:
   22         (d) It must require that a taxpayer claiming the exemption
   23  for the first time annually submit to the property appraiser,
   24  not later than March 1, a sworn statement of household income on
   25  a form prescribed by the Department of Revenue.
   26         (5) The department must require by rule that the filing of
   27  the statement be supported by copies of any federal income tax
   28  returns for the prior year, any wage and earnings statements (W
   29  2 forms), any request for an extension of time to file returns,
   30  and any other documents it finds necessary, for each member of
   31  the household, to be submitted for inspection by the property
   32  appraiser. The taxpayer’s sworn statement shall attest to the
   33  accuracy of the documents and grant permission to allow review
   34  of the documents if requested by the property appraiser.
   35  Submission of supporting documentation is not required for the
   36  renewal of an exemption under this section unless the property
   37  appraiser requests such documentation. Once the documents have
   38  been inspected by the property appraiser, they shall be returned
   39  to the taxpayer or otherwise destroyed. Annually, the property
   40  appraiser shall notify each taxpayer of the adjusted income
   41  limitation set forth in subsection (3). The taxpayer must notify
   42  the property appraiser by March 1 if his or her household income
   43  exceeds the most recent adjusted income limitation. If a
   44  taxpayer fails to notify the property appraiser and the property
   45  appraiser determines that for any year within the most recent 10
   46  years the taxpayer was not entitled to receive such exemption,
   47  the taxpayer shall be subject to the taxes exempted as a result
   48  of such failure plus 15 percent interest per annum and a penalty
   49  of 50 percent of the taxes exempted. The property appraiser may
   50  conduct is authorized to generate random audits of the
   51  taxpayers’ sworn statements to ensure the accuracy of the
   52  household income reported. If so selected for audit, a taxpayer
   53  shall execute Internal Revenue Service Form 8821 or 4506, which
   54  authorizes the Internal Revenue Service to release tax
   55  information to the property appraiser’s office. All reviews
   56  conducted in accordance with this section shall be completed on
   57  or before June 1. The property appraiser may not grant or renew
   58  the exemption if the required documentation requested is not
   59  provided.
   60         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.