Save on your income taxes next year—buy your kid a car this year. Thistax ploy has to do with whether you can claim Junior as a dependent. By law, youcan if you provide more than half his support and if his income for this year isless than the personal exemption of $3100. The latter test doesn't apply,though, if Junior is under age 19 or a fulltime student under age 24. It's a goodidea to run the numbers first, though. If you fall short of the half-of-support test,you may be able to make up the difference by springing for a new car. Youcan do the math now, but you don't have to buy the car until December. The dependencyexemption will be okay as long as Junior has use of the car for at least 1 dayin 2004. Also, the full cost of the car counts toward the support test, whetheryou pay cash or finance it.