Exemption Planning

Personal and dependent exemptions reduce your gross income. Every taxpayer may claim a personal exemption unless he or she may be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer's return. In 2016, each personal exemption you claim reduces your taxable income by $4,050.

You may be able to receive an exemption for relatives if one of the following applies: (1) you pay more than half of their support, and they earn less than $4,000 annually; (2) they are younger than age 19; or (3) they are full-time students under age 24.

If several family members share the support of a relative but no individual pays more than half, then no individual may claim the relative as a dependent. Consider filing a multiple support agreement or designating one member to pay the majority of support and take the exemption.