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You can take an exemption deduction for yourself, your spouse and each dependent you claim. On 2016 returns due April 18, 2017, this exemption amount is $4,050 per person, which is $50 more than in 2015. For 2017 planning purposes, the exemption amount stays the same at $4,050.

Tax exemption amounts
2013 $3,900
2014 $3,950
2015 $4,000
2016 $4,050
2017 $4,050

You claim each allowable exemption on the first page of the Form 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.

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The personal exemption is phased out for higher-income earners. The exemption reduction begins for married filing separately taxpayers with adjusted gross income of $155,650; single filers with AGI of $259,400; head-of-household taxpayers with AGI of $285,350; and married filing jointly taxpayers with AGI of $311,300.

You lose your personal exemption amounts completely when your adjusted gross income is $216,900 and you are a married taxpayer filing separately; $381,900 as a single filer; $407,850 as head of household; and $433,800 as a married couple filing a joint return.