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March 20, 2017 / Jessica Connell

Eight Tax Facts about Exemptions and Dependents

Most people can claim an exemption on their tax return. It can lower your taxable income, which in most cases, that reduces the amount of tax you owe for the year. Here are eight tax facts about exemptions to help you file your tax return.

1. Exemptions Cut Income. There are two types of exemptions. The first type is a personal exemption. The second type is an exemption for a dependent. You can usually deduct $4,050 for each exemption you claim on your 2016 tax return.

2. Personal Exemptions. You can usually claim an exemption for yourself. If you’re married and file a joint return, you can claim one for your spouse, too. If you file a separate return, you can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse:

  • Had no gross income,
  • Is not filing a tax return, and
  • Was not the dependent of another taxpayer.

3. Exemptions for Dependents. You can usually claim an exemption for each of your dependents. A dependent is either your child or a relative who meets a set of tests. You can’t claim your spouse as a dependent. You must list the Social Security number of each dependent you claim on your tax return. To learn more about these rules, please call the office.

4. Report Health Care Coverage. The health care law requires you to report certain health insurance information for you and your family. The individual shared responsibility provision requires you and each member of your family to either:

  • Have qualifying health insurance, called minimum essential coverage, or
  • Have an exemption from this coverage requirement, or
  • Make a shared responsibility payment when you file your 2016 tax return.

Please call if you’d like more information about these rules.

5. Some People Don’t Qualify. You normally may not claim married persons as dependents if they file a joint return with their spouse. There are some exceptions to this rule.

6. Dependents May Have to File. A person who you can claim as your dependent may have to file their own tax return. This depends on certain factors, like total income, whether they are married and if they owe certain taxes.

7. No Exemption on Dependent’s Return. If you can claim a person as a dependent, that person can’t claim a personal exemption on his or her own tax return. This is true even if you don’t actually claim that person on your tax return. This rule applies because you can claim that person as your dependent.

8. Exemption Phase-Out. The $4,050 per exemption is subject to income limits. This rule may reduce or eliminate the amount you can claim based on the amount of your income.

Don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions about exemptions and dependents.

For more tips visit www.PlumCPAs.com

Copyright © 2017 CPA Site Solutions

This information is for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.

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