Exemptions can save you a significant amount at tax time. For 2015, taxpayers can claim exemptions in three different categories, as long as they meet the requirements. Each exemption is worth $4,000, which is $50.00 greater than last year’s exemption amount. The exemption may be phased out for certain taxpayers who are considered high-income.
As long as you’re not claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s return, you may qualify to claim a personal exemption. If any other taxpayer can claim you as a dependent, regardless of whether not they do, then you can’t take the personal exemption on your own return. This applies to your dependents as well.
Married taxpayers who file a joint return together and neither spouse is eligible to be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, may claim a spousal exemption. If you file separately, you’re only able to claim your spouse is that spouse has no income and is not anyone else’s dependent.
A child or relatives can be claimed as a dependent if they meet all the requirements, including citizen and residency statuses. If your dependent is married, they must file a separate return from their spouse. Additionally, you can’t claim dependent exemptions if you yourself are dependent of anyone else.