Personal and Dependent Exemptions
Can I claim tax benefit for my spouse?
A resident of the US can always claim a personal exemption for a spoue if that person had no US source income. The spouse does not need to live in the US. Nonresidents can only claim his or her own personal exemption although exceptions apply to citizens or residents of Canada, Mexico, Korea and India.
Can I claim tax benefit for my child?
A resident of the US can claim a personal exemption for a qualifying dependent if that person is also a US tax resident. See Tax Residence for more information on residence. Nonresidents can only claim his or her own personal exemption although exceptions apply to citizens or residents of Canada, Mexico, Korea and India.
How is tax benefit for a spouse or child claimed on the tax return?
The tax benefit is claimed in the form of a Personal Exemption. This exemption reduces your income subject to tax by $3,650 (2010 amount) as indexed for inflation. Your level of income may reduce the tax benefit futher although the particulars.
What kind of taxpayer number is needed to support the exemption?
No tax benefit will be allowed for a spoue or dependent unless that person has a taxpayer number. A Social Security Number should be used if that person already has a number or has work authorization in the states. If not, then an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) should be applied for.
How do I apply for an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number?
Form W-7 and supporting documentation should be submitted with the tax return that claims person's tax benefit. Notarized or certified documentation must accompany the application as detailed in the instructions.
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