You are entitled to one personal exemption for yourself, one for your spouse (if filing a joint return), and one exemption for each dependent that you claim on your tax return. The exemption amounts are generally increased year by year, as adjusted for inflation, and the amount for tax year 2014 is $3,950 ($4,000 for tax year 2015). Three critical tests, however, must be met before you can claim someone as a dependent.
1. The Dependent Taxpayer Test
If you could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, you cannot claim anyone as a dependent on your tax return. This is true even if you have a qualifying child or qualifying relative. Also, if you file a joint return with your spouse, and can be claimed as a dependent by someone else, you and your spouse cannot claim anyone as a dependent Read more