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Seven Facts about Dependants and Exemptions

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The IRS has seven facts on these rules to help you file your taxes.
1. Exemptions cut income. There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependants. You can usually deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim on your 2013 tax return.
2. Personal Exemptions. You can usually claim an exemption for yourself. If you’re married and file a joint return you can also claim one for your spouse. If you file a separate return, you can claim and exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependant of another taxpayer.
3. Exemptions for dependants. A dependant is either your child or a relative that meets certain tests. You can’t claim your spouse as a dependant.
4. Some people don’t qualify. You generally may not claim married persons as dependants if they file a joint return with their spouse.
5. Dependants may have to file. People that you can claim as your dependant may have to file their own federal tax return.
6. No exemption on dependant’s return. If you can claim a person as a dependant, that person can’t claim a personal exemption on his or her own tax return.
7. Exemption phase-out. The $3,900 per exemption is subject to income limits.
Courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service: Issue IRS Tax Tip 2014-22

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