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J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2013: Your Complete Guide to Everything Deductible by Barbara Weltman

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CHAPTER 1

You and Your Family

Alert
At the time this book was printed, Congress had not extended numerous breaks for 2012 that had expired at the end of 2011. Check the online supplement in February 2013 at www.jklasser.com or www.barbaraweltman.com to see whether these breaks apply for 2012 returns.

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:

  • Personal exemption
  • Dependency exemption
  • Child tax credit
  • Earned income credit
  • Dependent care credit
  • Adoption costs
  • Foster care
  • Child support
  • Alimony

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.

Personal Exemption

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).

Benefit

You can claim a deduction for yourself, called a personal exemption. In 2012, the exemption amount is $3,800 (each year ...

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