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IRS.gov Website
Publication 17
taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm#en_us_publink1000170839

Chapter 3
Personal Exemptions and Dependents(p25)

What's New(p25)


taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm#en_us_publink1000263185
Exemption Amount.(p25)
The amount you can deduct for each exemption has increased from $3,650 for 2010 to $3,700 for 2011.
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This chapter discusses the following topics.
taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm#en_us_publink1000170844

Deduction.(p25)

rule
Exemptions reduce your taxable income. You can deduct $3,700 for each exemption you claim in 2011.
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How to claim exemptions.(p25)

rule
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#TXMP2deb3cef

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
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Exemptions(p25)

rule
There are two types of exemptions you may be able to take: While each is worth the same amount ($3,700 for 2011), different rules apply to each type.
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Personal Exemptions(p25)

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

rule
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(p26)

rule
Your spouse is never considered your dependent.
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Joint return.(p26)

rule
On a joint return you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse.
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Separate return.(p26)

rule
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 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.
taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm#en_us_publink1000170853

Death of spouse.(p26)

rule
If your spouse died during the year and you file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse, 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.(p26)

rule
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.