Truth 17. Claiming exemptions and dependents

A family can be a wonderful thing, especially at tax time. By taking care of your children, siblings, or even your parents, you get a break when you file your return.

The payoff for your kinship comes when you claim them as dependents.

But first, let’s start with the most important member of your tax family: You!

Personal exemptions—Each year, you are allowed to exempt a specific dollar amount (adjusted annually) from your income. There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. Each is worth the same amount, but different rules apply to each.

As a single taxpayer, you can claim a personal exemption for yourself. No muss, no fuss. Just check the ...

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