Personal Exemptions and Exemptions for Dependents – Resident Aliens
Resident Aliens can claim personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents according to the dependency rules for U.S. citizens.
- You can claim an exemption for your spouse on a Married Filing Separate return if your spouse had no gross income for U.S. tax purposes and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. You can claim this exemption even if your spouse has not been a resident alien for a full tax year or is an alien who has not come to the United States.
- You can claim an exemption for each person who qualifies as a dependent according to the rules for U.S. citizens. The dependent must be a citizen or national of the United States or be a resident of the United States, Canada, or Mexico for some part of the calendar year in which your tax year begins.
- CAUTION: Your spouse and each dependent must have either a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to be claimed as an exemption or a dependent. To apply for an ITIN for your dependents, fill out Form W-7. If you have your tax return prepared by VITA, we can prepare and file this form with your tax return.
Personal Exemptions and Exemptions for Dependents – Non-Resident Aliens
Generally, if you are a nonresident alien engaged in a trade or business in the United States, you can claim only one personal exemption. You may be able to claim an exemption for a spouse and a dependent if you are described in any of the following categories.
- If you are a resident of Mexico or Canada, you can also claim a personal exemption for your spouse if your spouse had no gross income for U.S. tax purposes and was not the dependent of another taxpayer.
- In addition, you can claim exemptions for your dependents who meet certain tests. Residents of Mexico or Canada must use the same rules as U.S. citizens to determine who is a dependent and for which dependents exemptions can be claimed. See Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, for these rules.
- Pursuant to tax treaties certain residents of South Korea and certain students and business apprentices from India may be able to claim exemptions for their spouse and dependents. Refer to IRS Publication 519 and to Revenue Procedure 93-20 for details.