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Old 01-05-06, 07:11 PM   #1
cruzness
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Question about home ownership and taxes (in FL)

Alright otters I got a couple of questions about my taxes. I am a first time homeowner and this will be the first time I file for taxes since buying my new home (which I bought in March). Can anyone give me more information about the Homestead exemption we recieve and its effect on filing for taxes both local and federal. ( I live in Florida so no state tax) Also how does the interest on the mortgage effect my federal income taxes?
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Old 01-05-06, 07:41 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert on these things but I think the homestead exemption usually means you don't have to pay the county taxes, and the interest on your house payments can be deducted on your federal taxes but I'm not sure if they recently changed this.
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Old 01-05-06, 09:12 PM   #3
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The homestead exemption has nothing to do with your federal taxes...Its a $25,000 (Florida) exemption that lowers your property tax burden. For instance, if the property appraiser values your home at $125,000, you only pay property taxes on $100,000. Once you have applied for and gotten the exemption, thats all you have to do.
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Old 01-06-06, 07:29 AM   #4
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The Homestead Exemption is strictly in Florida, as FvsD said.

My recommendation is to find yourself a good accountant or buy some tax software. H&R Block charges and arm and a leg and 90% of the time all they do is just have someone do data entry into a computer anyway.
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Old 01-06-06, 07:53 AM   #5
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The Homestead Exemption is just a break on local property taxes, and different states have different ways of doing it.

On your Federal income tax, you can either take standard deduction or itemize your deductions, whichever is greater. As a home owner, your mortgage interest (but not the part of the payment that goes to principal) and your local property taxes can be taken as itemized deductions, also state income tax (if any) or sales (but not both), charitable contributions, etc. There are categories for miscellaneous and medical deductions, but they have threshhold tests. You have to prepare a Schedule A, and you might want to download the instructions from the IRS site. Total all your deductions, and see if they exceed your standard. For homowners, they usually do.
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Old 01-06-06, 05:08 PM   #6
cruzness
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Thanks for clearing up the information. I was planning on picking up TurboTax Deluxe but I figured you guys could explain everything.
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Old 01-06-06, 06:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzness
Thanks for clearing up the information. I was planning on picking up TurboTax Deluxe but I figured you guys could explain everything.
TurboTax (and others) basically put all that information together for you ; there's no need to do the calculations by hand. I did taxes myself and by hand since I was 14, but now that things are a bit more complicated, I don't mind using the software. If I ever get into really complicated things I may need an accountant.

They always say at least one year go through the tax code yourself so you can see what the IRS is like.
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Old 01-06-06, 07:03 PM   #8
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As soon as I stopped being able to use the EZ form, I started using TurboTax.
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Old 01-06-06, 07:14 PM   #9
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Did you apply for the homestead exemption? You need to do this at your local county government office. As folks have mentioned, you have a $125k house and you pay taxes as if it was valued at $100k. You get a bill as if the house was worth $100k. Simple.
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