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Advanced Course > Dependents


This lesson will help you determine if a taxpayer may claim an exemption for a dependent by applying the applicable dependent test. The deduction for personal and dependency exemptions is suspended for tax years 2018 through 2025 by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Although the exemption amount is zero, the ability to claim a dependent may make taxpayers eligible for other tax benefits.

See the Volunteer Resource Guide, Dependents tab for helpful probing questions to use when interviewing the taxpayer.

Taxpayers can claim one exemption for each qualified dependent on their return, thereby reducing their taxable income.

Click the Skills Workout button to learn more about how to identify and determine the correct number of dependents.

Skill Check

Check your understanding of dependents. Indicate whether each of the statements below is true or false by clicking on the correct answer. To check your answers, click the Check My Answers button at the bottom of the page.

  1. Each dependent decreases income subject to tax.
  • A.
  • B.
  1. A person can be claimed as a dependent on more than one income tax return.
  • A.
  • B.
  1. The age test applies to a qualifying child.
  • A.
  • B.
  1. The relationship test must be met for a qualifying relative.
  • A.
  • B.