Low Income Taxpayers Clinic

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Dependent Exemptions

This information cannot take the place of advice from a lawyer. Each case is different and needs individual legal advice. You should contact a lawyer if you need representation on a tax matter or if you have questions.

What Is A Dependent Exemption

A dependent is a person -- not you or your spouse -- that you support. A dependent exemption is a tax deduction on your tax return. A tax deduction helps you pay less income taxes. A tax deduction might even increase your tax refund.

A dependent exemption is not a cash benefit. It will only reduce your taxes. If you do not owe enough taxes, it will not give you money. It is not like the Earned Income Credit, which will give you money even if you owe no taxes.