Can I claim an exemption for my dependents?
An exemption for dependents is one of the two types of exemptions you can claim to lower your taxable income (the other exemption being a personal exemption). You can claim an exemption for any dependent, other than your spouse, if they meet the requirements of being a “qualifying child” or “qualifying relative.” In addition to meeting these requirements, the dependent must be either: (i) a citizen or national of the United States; or (ii) a resident of the United States, Canada or Mexico. Finally, you cannot claim an exemption for any dependent who is filing his or her own joint tax return with their spouse, unless they are not required to file and are only doing so to get a return of withheld taxes. However, if they are filing a tax return separately from their spouse, or as a single individual, you may still claim the exemption.