What are personal exemptions?
A tax deduction for a personal exemption amount for the individual taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse, and the taxpayer's child or other dependent. The personal exemption is allowed in the form of a deduction against the taxpayer's income in the computation to arrive at the taxable income amount against which the tax rates are applied to compute the income tax.
Who is a dependent?
The general rule is that a personal exemption may be taken for a dependent that is either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative.
However, there are several exceptions to this rule:
Taxpayers who are claimed as dependents of others cannot themselves claim personal exemptions for their qualifying dependents.
Married individuals who file joint returns cannot also be claimed as dependents of another taxpayer.
Citizens or nationals of other countries cannot be claimed as dependents unless they also reside in the U.S. or in contiguous countries.
However, taxpayers who are also U.S. citizens or nationals may claim as a dependent any child who shares the taxpayer’s abode and is a member of the taxpayer’s household.