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What is a dependent tax deduction?

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Quick Answer

A dependent tax deduction is an allowance for reduced tax payments on a preset basis for those who have people who rely on them for direct monetary support, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Children and other relatives that meet specific requirements can be claimed as dependents, as can some people with certain disabilities who rely on the taxpayer for support and care.

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Full Answer

There are many instances in which a person cannot be claimed as a dependent regardless of their financial situation or of their particular needs. Married people filing jointly cannot be claimed as dependents and nor can people who do not meet citizenship requirements, as noted by the IRS.

A dependent tax deduction is also referred to as an exemption, and a separate exemption may be filed for each dependent a taxpayer claims. Social security numbers must be provided in order to claim the exemption, however, each exemption reduces the filing party's taxable income by a set amount, in effect sparing them tax payments.

Dependency is an important way for people to protect family members and loved ones who need care while still maintaining financial solvency and independence. Most parents claim their children as dependents until those children move out and begin independent careers of their own, acquiring their independence in the process.

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