Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Personal Exemptions

Personal Exemption Rules

What are Exemptions?

An exemption is a dollar amount that can be deducted from an individual's total income, thereby reducing the taxable income. Taxpayers may be able to claim two kinds of exemptions:

  • Personal exemptions, which taxpayers can generally claim for themselves (and possibly for their spouse)
  • Dependency exemptions, which taxpayers claim for qualifying dependents

This lesson focuses on determining the number of personal exemptions a taxpayer can take.


Exemption amounts are indexed for inflation and are generally updated every year.

Exemptions section of 1040 Form with red text reading "How many should I claim?"