For tax year 2016, the personal exemption amount is $4,050 (compared to $4,000 in 2015).
You are allowed to claim one personal exemption for yourself and one for your spouse (if married). However, if somebody else can list you as a dependent on their tax return, you are not permitted to claim a personal exemption for yourself.
The personal exemption amount “phases out” for taxpayers with higher incomes. The Personal Exemption Phase-out (PEP) thresholds are as follows:
|Filing Status||PEP Threshold Starts||PEP Threshold Ends|
|Married Filing Jointly||$311,300||$433,800|
|Married Filing Separately||$155,650||$216,900|
|Head of Household||$285,350||$407,850|
For example, if you claim the standard deduction, you cannot itemize deductions – and vice versa (if you itemize deductions, you cannot claim the standard deduction). You are allowed to use whichever type of deduction results in the lowest tax.
The standard deduction is subtracted from your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), thereby reducing your taxable income. For tax year 2016, the standard deduction amounts are as follows:
|Filing Status||Standard Deduction|
|Married Filing Jointly||$12,600|
|Married Filing Separately||$6,300|
|Head of Household||$9,300|
Note that there is an additional standard deduction for elderly or blind taxpayers, which is $1,250 for tax year 2016. The additional standard deduction amount increases to $1,550 if the individual is also unmarried and not a qualifying widow(er).
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