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previous page Previous Page: Publication 17 - Your Federal Income Tax - Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child
next page Next Page: Publication 17 - Your Federal Income Tax - Exemptions for Dependents
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.Index for this Publication
taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm#en_us_publink100032164

Chapter 3
Personal Exemptions and Dependents(p25)

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Personal Exemptions and Dependents


What's New(p25)


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taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm#en_us_publink100032166

Exemption amount.(p25)

The amount you can deduct for each exemption has increased from $3,400 in 2007 to $3,500 in 2008.
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Exemption phaseout.(p25)

You lose part of the benefit of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. For 2008, this phaseout begins at $119,975 for married persons filing separately; $159,950 for single individuals; $199,950 for heads of household; and $239,950 for married persons filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)s. However, in 2008, you can lose no more than 1/3 of the amount of your exemptions. In other words, each exemption cannot be reduced to less than $2,333.
taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm#en_us_publink100096353

Exemption for individual displaced by a Midwestern disaster.(p25)

You may be able to claim a $500 exemption if you provided housing to a person displaced by a Midwestern disaster. For more information, see Form 8914.
taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm#TXMP77d82446
This chapter discusses exemptions. The following topics will be explained.
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Deduction.(p25)


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Exemptions reduce your taxable income. Generally, you can deduct $3,500 for each exemption you claim in 2008. But, you may lose part of the dollar amount of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. See Phaseout of Exemptions, later.
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How to claim exemptions.(p25)


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How to claim exemptions.

How you claim an exemption on your tax return depends on which form you file.
If you file Form 1040EZ, the exemption amount is combined with the standard deduction amount and entered on line 5.
If you file Form 1040A or Form 1040, follow the instructions for the form. The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. Also complete line 26 (Form 1040A) or line 42 (Form 1040).

taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm#TXMP69ed8a5b

Useful items

You may want to see:


Publication
 501 Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information
Form (and Instructions)
 2120: Multiple Support Declaration
 8332: Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent
 8914: Exemption Amount for Taxpayers Housing Midwestern Displaced Individuals
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Exemptions(p25)


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There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. While each is worth the same amount ($3,500 for 2008), different rules apply to each type.
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Personal Exemptions(p25)


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You are generally allowed one exemption for yourself and, if you are married, one exemption for your spouse. These are called personal exemptions.
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Your Own Exemption(p25)


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You can take one exemption for yourself unless you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. If another taxpayer is entitled to claim you as a dependent, you cannot take an exemption for yourself even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim you as a dependent.
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Your Spouse's Exemption(p25)


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Your spouse is never considered your dependent.
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Joint return.(p25)


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previous topic occurrence Joint Return next topic occurrence

On a joint return you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse.
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Separate return.(p25)


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If you file a separate return, you can claim the exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. This is true even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a dependent. This is also true if your spouse is a nonresident alien.
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Death of spouse.(p25)


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If your spouse died during the year, you generally can claim your spouse's exemption under the rules just explained under Joint return. If you file a separate return for the year, you may be able to claim your spouse's exemption under the rules just described in Separate return.
If you remarried during the year, you cannot take an exemption for your deceased spouse.
If you are a surviving spouse without gross income and you remarry in the year your spouse died, you can be claimed as an exemption on both the final separate return of your deceased spouse and the separate return of your new spouse for that year. If you file a joint return with your new spouse, you can be claimed as an exemption only on that return.
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Divorced or separated spouse.(p25)


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If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the end of the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support.
previous pagePrevious Page: Publication 17 - Your Federal Income Tax - Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child
next pageNext Page: Publication 17 - Your Federal Income Tax - Exemptions for Dependents
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.Index for this Publication