Some Tax Tidbits Regarding Dependents

Just because your parents or someone else can claim you as a dependent does not necessarily mean that you do not have to file a tax return.  That determination is based on your earned and unearned income during the year, your marital status, any tax withholdings, any tax credits your received and special taxes that you owe, etc.  Also, if in 2009 someone else claims you as a dependent, or is entitled to claim you as a dependent, you may not claim a personal exemption for yourself on any tax return filed by you for 2009.

The amount allowed in 2009 for each personal and dependency exemption is $3,650, assuming your adjusted gross income does not exceed certain amounts for your filing status.

Even though your spouse does not work, your spouse is not a dependent according to the Internal Revenue Service.  Consequently, you are only allowed to take one personal exemption for your spouse:  that is, you cannot claim an additional exemption for your spouse as a dependent.

Generally, for someone to be claimed as a dependent, the individual cannot be married, must be a U.S. citizen, resident alien, or national, or a resident of Mexico or Canada.

The tax requirements regarding dependents, exemptions, and filing status are very complicated.  Consequently, you are advised to seek assistance from a tax professional if you have any questions.

About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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