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Entering Dependent Exemptions on a Tax Return

Posted by: headm on: February 22, 2013

When you go to enter dependent exemptions on your tax return this tax season, you should normally claim one exemption for each dependent. This could be a child that you provide support for or a relative that is living with you that you also support. When married you cannot claim your spouse, that would be a personal exemption. Have the Social Security Number for each dependent handy as the tax return will fail electronic filing (e-file) if the SSNs are not correct.

Generally, dependents do not file their own tax returns as their information is incorporated into your return. But there are situations where a dependent will be required to file a return. The dependent needs to take a look at their income, their marital status and if they earned any special income during the year to determine if they need to file. IRS.gov has a great tool on their home page to help anyone decide if they must file or do not need to file a return.

Only one person gets the exemption for a dependent. Therefore the dependent themselves cannot claim a personal exemption when they discover that they have to file a return. IRS Publication 501 has all the details for you or you can use free tax software like TurboTax 2013 to determine who needs to file and who claims the exemptions in the family.

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