Miami-Dade Cracks Down on Homestead Exemption Fraud

Miami-Dade officials are cracking down on homestead exemption fraud.  Folks who claim the exemption and don’t qualify for it will have to not only pay the higher tax bill, they will also owe back taxes, plus penalties and interest.

Miami-Dade’s new Property Appraiser, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, promised to crack down on homestead exemption fraud when he took office.  And he has delivered.  The crack down effort has been a combined effort between the municipalities of Pinecrest, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Key Biscayne, Miami, Miami Gardens, South Miami, Sweetwater & West Miami.  Each of these cities committed one special detective to the effort and it has certainly paid off.

The extra manpower produced $6.2 million in violation for the months of September and October, compared to $3 million in the months of June and July, prior to the task force getting started.  These numbers are across the entire county.  Over double the amount is nothing to sneeze at.

In addition to the extra manpower, the fact that citizens can now report homestead exemption fraud easily and anonymously on the county website has probably helped the efforts.

So how do you know if you qualify for the homestead exemption?  It’s quite easy really.  Is it your primary residence?  Then chances are that you qualify. Is it not your primary home?  Then you definitely do not qualify.  You can get more information on the homestead and other exemptions here.

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These articles are not intended to give legal or tax advice, and you should consult your attorney or financial advisor for additional information.

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