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Bankrate's 2010 Tax Guide
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2009 exemption amounts

You can take an exemption deduction for yourself, your spouse and each dependent you claim. On 2009 returns, this exemption amount is $3,650 per person.

Some taxpayers, however, will see their personal exemption amount reduced if they make over a certain limit that is adjusted annually for inflation.

To determine just how much exemption value is lost, taxpayers will have to complete a work sheet found in the tax return filing instructions.

You will need the work sheet if your adjusted gross income exceeds the following limits for your filing status:

You must reduce the dollar amount of your exemptions by 2 percent for each $2,500 or part of $2,500 ($1,250 if you are married filing separately) that your AGI exceeds the amounts shown above for your filing state.

However, the maximum income limit is not a total elimination of your exemption amount. Rather, if your income is more than the top phaseout range, you will lose one-third of each allowable exemption amount. That means that you will be able to claim only $2,433 instead of $3,650 for each exemption.

2009 exemption amount income limits
Filing statusPhaseout of exemptions when AGI is overMaximum phaseout applies if your AGI exceeds
Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)$250,200$372,700
Head of household$208,500$331,000
Married filing separately$125,100$186,350

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