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Florida Property Tax Exemptions and Discounts, Do You Qualify?
Imagine you wake up on a sunny morning in Florida to find that your property tax bill has taken a nosedive! Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it's a reality for many Floridians thanks to the state's generous property tax exemptions and discounts.
So, what's your move with that extra dough? Would you knock down your mortgage? Pump up that retirement fund? Or maybe, just maybe, treat yourself to a well-earned vacation? Because these aren't just a few spare change savings; we're talking hundreds, even thousands of dollars back in your pocket every year.
Whether you're a homeowner settling into your dream pad, a renter exploring the property tax scene, a business owner keeping a close eye on your finances, or a well-respected veterinarian, this article is your ticket to financial freedom. Hang tight as we unveil the secrets to keeping more of your hard-earned cash right where it belongs—in your wallet.
I) The Homestead Exemption
Let's dive into the homestead exemption, Florida's favorite property tax perk. It's not just popular; it's seriously valuable, putting up to $50,000 back in your pocket by reducing the taxable value of your main digs. But here's the deal – to snag this sweet deal, you've got to own and live in the place as your permanent home.
Making Your House a Home
Getting in on the homestead exemption action isn't rocket science, but there are a few hoops to jump through:
You've got to be the property owner.
Your place must be your main squeeze – your primary residence.
You need to call Florida your home sweet home.
How to Apply for Big Savings
Ready to pocket those savings? Here's the drill – grab that homestead exemption application and fill it out. You can usually find it on the property appraiser's website or swing by their office in person.
II) Senior Citizen Exemption
Now, let's talk about something that gets better with age – the Senior Citizen Exemption. If you're 65 or older, you could be in for some serious savings, up to a whopping $50,000 extra in your pocket. And here's the kicker – this sweet deal stacks on top of your regular homestead exemption, potentially slashing your property taxes by a jaw-dropping $100,000 a year.
Getting Older, Paying Less
Qualifying for the senior citizen exemption is like sipping fine wine – it comes with its own set of criteria:
You've got to hit that 65-year mark or beyond.
Your place has to be your main gig, your primary residence.
Florida must be your official home base.
Simplifying the Senior Exemption Process
Ready to seize those senior savings? Grab that senior citizen exemption application and get it to your county property appraiser's office pronto. You can usually find it online or at their office – whichever floats your boat.
Once you've done your part and submitted the application, the property appraiser's office will work their magic. They'll check if you're eligible and make sure that sweet exemption finds its way onto your property tax bill. You might need to show a little proof of age, like your trusty driver's license or a birth certificate.
III) Disability Discount
Now, let's talk about something that matters deeply – the Disability Discount. If you're dealing with a permanent and total disability, this can be a real lifeline. It could mean an extra $50,000 off your property taxes, and yes, that's on top of your regular homestead exemption. In plain terms, we're talking about a potential total savings of $100,000 per year.
The Lowdown on Disability Exemptions
Let's break it down gently:
You're facing a permanent and total disability.
Your place? It's where you call home, the one you live in.
Florida must be your official home base.
Here's what you need to do: complete a disability exemption application and send it to your county property appraiser's office.
Your Permanent and Total Disability
For this exemption, your disability has to be the real deal—it's got to be permanent and total. That means it's not going away anytime soon—at least a year—or, in some unfortunate cases, it could lead to a more serious outcome. Plus, it should genuinely prevent you from heading off to work and earning a living.
Now, if you're not sure whether your situation fits the bill, know that it's okay to have doubts. Reach out to your county property appraiser's office; they're there to help, not judge.
IV) Property Tax Breaks for Our Heroes
Florida opens its arms wide to veterans with a range of property tax exemptions and discounts, all based on their service connected disability rating. These aren't just ordinary savings; they're a heartfelt "thank you" that can put thousands of dollars back into the pockets of our honored veterans each year.
Serving with Honor, Saving on Taxes
Here's the deal – to claim these property tax exemptions or discounts as a veteran, you've got to meet these requirements:
Florida is your home sweet home.
You've proudly served in the United States military.
Your discharge was honorable.
Now, here's your mission: fill out a veteran's property tax exemption or discount application and send it to your county property appraiser's office.
The Different Types of Veteran's Property Tax Exemptions and Discounts
Florida salutes its veterans with the following property tax benefits:
Total Disability Exemption: Veterans with a 100% service-connected disability rating enjoy a total homestead exemption, taking up to $50,000 off their homestead's taxable value.
Partial Disability Exemption: For veterans with service-connected disability ratings ranging from 10% to 99%, there's a partial homestead exemption. The savings match their disability rating.
Surviving Spouse Exemption: Surviving spouses of veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty or due to a service-connected disability can claim a total homestead exemption. Those who lost their spouses for other reasons may still qualify for a partial homestead exemption.
Widow or Widower Exemption: Widows and widowers of veterans who were at least 55 years old when their spouse passed away, and who haven't remarried, can secure an additional homestead exemption of up to $50,000.
V) Widow or Widower's Oasis
Losing a spouse is one of life's most challenging experiences, and it often brings financial burdens along with the emotional pain. In Florida, there's a lifeline for widows and widowers – it's called the widow or widower's property tax exemption.
In the state of Florida, if you're a widow or widower aged 55 or older who hasn't remarried, there's a special lifeline for you. You can tap into an additional homestead exemption, potentially shaving off up to $50,000 from your property taxes. That's on top of your regular homestead exemption, meaning you could be looking at annual savings of up to $100,000.
Age 55 or Older? Here's How to Get Started
Getting your hands on the widow or widower's property tax exemption is a step-by-step process, but it's worth it. Here's what you need to do:
Reach out to your county property appraiser's office. They will give you the application form and guide you through the entire process.
Gather the necessary documentation, which typically includes proof of your spouse's passing, proof of your age, proof that Florida is your home, and proof that you own the homestead.
Once you've completed your application and collected the required documents, submit them to the property appraiser's office.
The property appraiser's office will review your application and documentation to determine your eligibility. If you qualify, they'll update your property tax record, and you'll start enjoying the benefits of the exemption on your property tax bills.
VII) Farm Life and Finances
Florida offers an agricultural property tax exemption to help farmers reduce the cost of owning and operating their farms. This exemption can save farmers thousands of dollars each year, which can be used to invest in their farms, purchase new equipment, or simply make ends meet.
Unlocking Agricultural Exemptions
To qualify for the agricultural property tax exemption, your land must be used for bona fide agricultural purposes. This means that the land must be used for the production of crops or livestock or the forestry industry.
You will need to provide the property appraiser's office with documentation to support your application. This documentation may include:
A copy of your property tax bill
A map of your property
A list of your crops or livestock
A description of your agricultural activities
VIII) Preserve, Protect, and Save
When it comes to conservation easements, it's a deal where both sides come out ahead. Landowners get a significant break on their property taxes, and the public gets the gift of preserved land for future generations to cherish.
To qualify for this situation, here's what your land must meet:
Size matters. It needs to be at least 40 acres, unless it's connected to other land that's already protected by a conservation easement.
Your land should hold natural, scenic, or agricultural value worth safeguarding.
The land must be donated to a qualified conservation organization, sealing the deal on its protection.
When you apply, make sure to gather some paperwork to support your case. This might include:
A copy of your property tax bill.
A map showing the lay of your land.
A clear description of the conservation easement.
A copy of the conservation easement agreement.
IX) History and Heritage
Florida has a treasure trove of history that spans thousands of years. Amongst the palm trees and beaches lie historic buildings and structures that hold stories of our past, stories worth preserving for generations to come.
The historic preservation exemption is a thoughtful Florida property tax break that encourages landowners to be custodians of these historical gems. This exemption can make property tax increases resulting from the restoration of a historic property disappear, offering potential savings of up to 100%.
To qualify for this exemption, your property must meet one of these criteria:
Get listed on the National Register of Historic Places by itself.
Be an important building in a National Register Historic District.
Be designated as historic according to a local preservation ordinance.
When you apply, be ready to provide your friendly property appraiser's office with some documentation. This might include:
A copy of your property's National Register of Historic Places listing.
A copy of your property's local preservation ordinance designation.
A copy of your property's National Register Historic District designation.
X) Discounts that Pay Off
Let's talk about a deal that can put some extra money in your pocket – the early payment discount. In many Florida counties, property owners who pay their taxes in full by March 31st get a little reward: a 4% discount off the total tax bill.
Special Perks for Seniors, Veterans, and Disabled Individuals
Florida cares about its seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities and offers some special property tax discounts just for them.
If you're a senior aged 65 or older, you're in for a treat. You could snag a homestead exemption of up to $50,000. This means the taxable value of your homestead property gets a $50,000 reduction, which can lead to substantial savings.
Veterans who've bravely served with a 100% service-connected disability rating deserve some extra recognition. They're eligible for a total homestead exemption, which essentially wipes out the taxable value of their homestead property. It's a heartfelt thank you for their service.
For individuals with a total disability rating of 100%, Florida offers a total homestead exemption as well. This means the taxable value of their homestead property drops to zero, providing much-needed relief.
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As we wrap up our journey through Florida's property tax exemptions and discounts, there's a prevailing sense of hope and community. These opportunities aren't just about numbers and paperwork; they're about building a brighter future for ourselves and generations to come.
Remember, together, we can shape a future where our homes are more affordable, our history is cherished, our land is preserved, and our community thrives. Share your insights and comments, and let's create a brighter tomorrow, one exemption at a time.
Florida Homestead Exemption Tax Benefits is Here to Stop You From Overpaying
Ah, Florida! Sunshine, beaches, and...property taxes? Hold on, don't let the "Sunshine State" label fool you – those postcard-perfect views come with a price tag, especially when it comes to property taxes. But here's the good news: Florida's got your back (sort of) with something called the Homestead Exemption. Ever heard of it?
I hadn't either, until last year. I was nestled in my cute little beach bungalow, living my best Florida life, when BAM! That property tax bill arrived, looking like a sunburned grouch who just lost his last margarita. I panicked, envisioning my dreams of pina coladas turning into ramen noodles.
But then, a friend introduced me to the Homestead Exemption. This magical little loophole could potentially slash my property taxes, putting those beachy cocktails back on the menu. But was I eligible? Was this too good to be true? Let’s find out…
What Are the Basics of the Homestead Exemption?
Here, we'll explore the ins and outs of the homestead exemption in Florida. This is your gateway to potentially saving a substantial $50,000 on your property taxes.
1. $50K Savings: Grab Your Share
The Florida Homestead Exemption is a real money-saver for homeowners, putting up to $50,000 back in your pocket. Now that's a nice chunk of change!
2. $25K Covers It All, No Questions Asked
The initial $25,000 of this exemption acts like a universal shield. It covers school district, county, city, and special district taxes. No need to get bogged down in the details; it's all bundled in there.
3. Second $25K: School Taxes? See Ya!
And what about the other $25,000? That's your ticket to bid farewell to those pesky school taxes. Even if your home's value soars above $50,000, your school taxes won't be putting a dent in your wallet.
How Can You Keep Your Property Value in Check?
One crucial thing to remember about the homestead exemption is that it helps keep your property value in check. Let's break it down further..
Save Our Homes
Think of "Save Our Homes" as your superhero shield against those pesky tax hikes. It's like a force field for your home's assessed value. Even if the market value soars, your taxes can only creep up a bit each year.
Imagine your home is assessed at $200,000, and the "Save Our Homes" cap is 3%. That means your assessed value can only nudge up by $6,000 yearly. So, if your home's value skyrockets by $10,000, your taxes will only sneak up by $6,000.
Freeze Your Assessed Value
Once your home's assessed value is frozen, it's like a lock that stays put. No matter how much your home's market value dances, your property taxes remain steady, giving your wallet a break.
For example, you bought your home a decade ago for $200,000. With a 3% "Save Our Homes" cap each year, your assessed value sits at $260,000 now. Even if your home's market value soared, you're still saving bucks on property taxes year after year, thanks to the "Save Our Homes" magic.
Is the Homestead Exemption Portable? Can You Take It with You?
We'll unravel the practical benefits of portability in Florida's Homestead Exemption. This is your ticket to saving money even when you decide to change homes.
Homestead Exemption on the Move
If you move to a new home in Florida, you can transfer all or part of your homestead exemption to your new home. This means that you can keep saving money on your property taxes, even if you move.
Let's say you have a homestead exemption on your current home in Florida that saves you $10,000 on your property taxes. If you move to a new home in Florida, you can transfer all or part of your homestead exemption to your new home. This means that you can save $10,000 on your property taxes in your new home, too.
Saving Bucks in Your New Digs
Portability is a great way to save money on your property taxes, especially if you are downsizing or moving to a less expensive area of Florida.
Let's say you have a homestead exemption on your current home in Florida that saves you $10,000 on your property taxes. If you move to a new home in Florida that is worth less than your current home, you can transfer all or part of your homestead exemption to your new home. This means that you can still save money on your property taxes, even though your new home is worth less.
Are There Any Additional Benefits for Floridians?
We're going to explore additional Homestead Exemptions available in Florida. These aren't your everyday exemptions – they're tailored to specific groups, offering more ways to save on property taxes. Let's see if you qualify.
1. Seniors Score: $5K Bonus
Homestead Exemption holders aged 65 or older can qualify for an additional $5,000 exemption. That's a total savings of $55,000 on your taxable value.
2. Veterans' Victory: Total Tax Exemption
Honorably discharged veterans with a service-connected disability of 10% or greater may be eligible for a total exemption from ad valorem taxes on property they own and use as their homesteads.
3. First Responders, You're Covered Too
Disabled first responders may be eligible for an additional $5,000 exemption. That's a total savings of $60,000 on your taxable value.
These extra perks are a great way for Florida homeowners to save even more money on their property taxes. If you qualify for any of these exemptions, be sure to file for them each year.
If you're a fellow Floridian, you might want to take a peek at some of our other articles:
Florida Tangible Property Tax: Avoid Penalties and Save Money
Florida Property Tax Exemptions and Discounts: Who Qualifies and How to Apply
Florida Tax Deductions and Credits: What's New for 2023?
How Can You Claim Your Savings with the Homestead Exemption?
Filing for a homestead exemption is easy as pie. You can do it online, by mail, or in person at your county property appraiser's office.
Here are some tips for claiming your homestead exemption:
Make sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements. You can find more information on the Florida Department of Revenue website.
Gather all of the required documentation. This may include a copy of your driver's license, your home purchase agreement, and your most recent tax bill.
File your homestead exemption claim early. This will give you enough time to get your exemption approved before the deadline.
If you have any questions about filing for a homestead exemption, you can contact your county property appraiser's office.
Deadline Alert: Don't Miss Out
The deadline to file for a homestead exemption each year is January 1st. If you miss the deadline, you can still file for an exemption, but you may not receive all of the benefits.
Have Something to Say? We Want to Hear It!
Do you thoughts on the Florida Homestead Exemption? Don't be shy, let 'em fly in the comments below. Your insights can help others learn how to make the most of this fantastic tax break. And hey, why not spread the word? Share this article with your friends and family, so they can save some cash on their property taxes too!
Florida Tangible Property Tax Hacks to Save Money Legally
When my friend John Smith started his small business in Florida, he was excited about the opportunity to grow his business and create jobs. However, he quickly realized that one of the challenges of doing business in Florida is the TPP tax.
TPP tax is a tax on all tangible personal property located in Florida. This includes everything from office furniture and inventory to boats and cars. especially if your assets tally up to over $25,000. For small businesses, the TPP tax can be a significant financial burden.
In John's shoes, he had to fork out TPP tax for all the gear and inventory that kept his business rolling. Think computers, printers, and the office furniture that make the place look sharp. Oh, and don't forget those trusty delivery vehicles – they came with a TPP tax bill too.
Now, here's the plot twist – despite all these TPP tax hurdles, John Smith managed to steer his business to success and create jobs. How did he do it? Well, he figured out some ways to avoid penalties, uncovered some TPP secrets, and saved a boatload of money. Want to know how you can do the same and build a thriving business, just like John? Let's dive into those secrets together.
I) What's in Your Closet? A Look at the Stuff Subject to TPP Tax
So, what exactly falls under the TPP tax umbrella? Let's break them down first.
1. Office Furniture and Equipment:
If your business has a desk, a computer, or even a fancy chair, congrats, you're in the TPP tax game. These everyday office essentials count.
2. Machinery and Tools:
Got any heavy-duty machinery or specialized tools for your trade? Yep, they're part of the gang too. TPP tax doesn't discriminate.
3. Inventory for Sale:
All those goods you're planning to sell? Whether it's the bakery's fresh bread, the hardware store's power drills, or the bookstore's novels, they're on the TPP tax radar.
4. Vehicles Galore:
Remember those delivery vans we mentioned earlier? If you've got cars, trucks, boats, or even planes for business purposes, they're not flying under the tax radar either.
5. Special Mention: Renewable Energy Devices:
Here's a curveball – if you're in the renewable energy game, devices like solar panels count too. Florida keeps an eye on those.
From Office Furniture to Boats: It's All Here
In short, the TPP tax casts a pretty wide net. Whether it's the chair you're sitting on, the tools you're using, or even that boat you've got parked at the marina, it's all fair game. The taxman doesn't discriminate based on what's in your business closet.
II) How They Calculate TPP Tax
Alright, let's discuss figures. How do they even figure out what your stuff is worth in the TPP tax world?
The Deal with Assessing Value:
The value of your tangible personal property, or TPP, is like its price tag. But it's not just what you paid; it's what it's worth on the market. Imagine you're selling it; what would someone be willing to pay?
Real Life Example:
Let's say you've got a computer for your business. You bought it for $1,000, but after a few years, it's not worth that much anymore. If someone would pay $500 for it now, that's its assessed value.
The Vital Part: Millage Rates and Math
Now, you've got the assessed value, but how much tax do you owe? That's where millage rates come into play. Each county in Florida has its own millage rate. It's like a tax rate, but for property. It's usually a tiny fraction of a dollar, like 0.01.
Example in Action:
Let's say your assessed TPP value is $10,000, and your county's millage rate is 0.01. You'd owe $100 in TPP tax because 10,000 x 0.01 = 100.
John knew that understanding these millage rates was crucial. He kept an eye on the rates in his county and planned accordingly. It helped him budget for his TPP tax.
III) Tax Deadline Stress? Not So Much. When Is TPP Tax Due?
Alright, let's talk deadlines – when does the TPP tax bill come due? Well, it's all about that date circled in big letters on your calendar: April 1st.
No April Fools' Joke:
No, it's not a prank. On April 1st of each year, you've got a date with your TPP tax. That's when your return needs to be filed, and your payment needs to be in.
Get Ahead with That Sweet November 1st Discount:
But here's a little trick John picked up on – you can actually score a sweet deal. If you're on top of your game and file your TPP tax return and pay up by November 1st, you get a 4% discount. Yep, you heard that right, a little reward for being early birds.
IV) Filing Your TPP Tax Return
When it comes to filing your TPP tax return, you've got options – it's all about what suits you best.
1. Traditional Paper Filing:
If you're a pen-and-paper person, you can go old-school and file your TPP tax return by mail. It's as simple as getting the forms, filling them out, and sending them on their way.
2. Embrace the Digital Age: Online Filing:
Now, if you prefer the convenience of the digital world (who doesn't?), you can file your TPP tax return online. Florida's Department of Revenue has got you covered with user-friendly forms right on their website.
John, being a techy guy, leaned towards online filing. It saved him a trip to the post office and gave him peace of mind knowing his return was submitted instantly.
Find the Form You Need Online:
To make life even easier, the Florida Department of Revenue has all the forms you need for TPP tax filing available online. No need to hunt around – they've got it sorted for you.
V) Oops, Missed a Step? The Lowdown on TPP Tax Penalties
So, you've got your TPP tax return ready, but you missed the deadline. What now? Let's talk about the consequences of being fashionably late to the tax party.
The Late Filing Penalty:
First things first, if you file your TPP tax return late, there's a penalty in store. This penalty can be quite a sting, usually 10% of the total tax due or $50, whichever is greater. So, procrastination can hit you where it hurts – your wallet.
Late Payment Penalties:
Wait, there's more. If you owe TPP tax and don't pay on time, you'll also face late payment penalties. These can pile on additional costs, usually 10% of the unpaid tax, plus 1% interest for each month the payment is late.
Don't Let Penalties Weigh You Down:
The takeaway here is crystal clear: TPP tax penalties are avoidable. Don't let them become a financial burden on your business. Staying on top of your deadlines is not just about compliance; it's a smart financial move.
VI) Time to Wrap It Up
Well, we've covered quite a bit about Florida's Tangible Personal Property (TPP) tax. From what it covers to how it's calculated, when it's due, and even how to avoid those pesky penalties – we've unraveled the TPP tax mystery together.
[Get more information on Florida capital gains tax on commercial property or Florida property tax discounts and exemptions]
So, what's the bottom line here? TPP tax is a reality for businesses in Florida, While it can feel like a bump in the road, it's not an insurmountable challenge.
If you found this information helpful or have your own TPP tax tips to share, we'd love to hear from you. Drop a comment below, and don't forget to hit that share button. Helping each other navigate the world of TPP tax is what we're all about.
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