Physician's Money Digest, May 15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 9

The exemption for qualifieddependents for 2002 is $3000.Thatmeans each dependent chops $900off your tax bill if you're in the 30%tax bracket. If the dependent is yourchild, the rules are fairly straightforward.You can claim the exemptionif the child lived with you this pastyear and you provided half theirsupport. After that, the ins and outsof determining dependency can getinvolved. If you claim a dependentwho is not related to you, there's anincome test, a citizenship test, and asupport test, among others. Tomake the issue even less simple, theexemption starts phasing out whenyour adjusted gross income (ie, yourgross income less certain items likeIRA contributions, but before youtake any exemptions or deductions)reaches $206,000, if you file jointly.