You can take an exemption deduction for yourself, your spouse and each dependent you claim. On 2010 returns, this exemption amount is $3,650 per person.

You claim each allowable exemption on the first page of the 1040 or 1040A. There is no special area for exemptions on Form 1040EZ. Because this form is for taxpayers without dependents, the exemption amount is accounted for in the standard deduction amounts shown on that tax return for single or married taxpayers.

For every person who qualifies as an exemption, you’ll need to include that person’s Social Security number on your return. If these tax identification numbers are missing, the IRS could disallow the exemption claim.

In recent years, the personal exemption amount was reduced for higher-income taxpayers. The phaseout rule, however, does not apply to the 2010 tax year.

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