You and Your Family
Do the old clichés still ring true? Can 2 still live as cheaply as 1? Are things really cheaper by the dozen? For tax purposes, there are certain tax breaks for building a family.
This chapter explains family-related tax benefits, including:
For more information on these topics, see IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information; IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses; IRS Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals; IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Credit; and IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.
Each taxpayer (other than someone who is another taxpayer's dependent) automatically is entitled to a deduction just for being a taxpayer. The amount of the deduction, called the exemption amount, is a fixed dollar amount ($3,800 in 2012).
You can claim a deduction for yourself, called a personal exemption. In 2012, the exemption amount is $3,800 (each year ...