Personal Exemptions and Death of a Taxpayer

What happens to a personal or dependent exemption that is claimed when a person dies during the tax year?

The personal or dependent exemption amount claimed by a taxpayer is not reduced because of the death of a taxpayer, his spouse, or a dependent during the tax year. For example, A child is born on December 31, 2012, and dies in January 2013. A full exemption is allowed for the child in both tax years. If your child was born alive during the year, and the dependency tests are met, you can claim the exemption.

 

 

Personal Exemptions and Death of a Taxpayer

This is true even if the child lived only for a moment. State or local law must treat the child as having been born alive. There must be proof of a live birth shown by an official document, such as a birth certificate. In order to claim the exemption, the child will need to have a Social Security number. A number is usually assigned in connection with the issuance of a birth certificate. If a number was not received, a child will need to apply for one at a Social Security office.

 

The death of one spouse will also not deprive the survivor of the right to claim the exemptions of the deceased

The death of one spouse will also not deprive the survivor of the right to claim the exemptions of the deceased. The crucial date for determining marital status is the last day of the tax year. If a spouse dies during the tax year, however, this determination is made as of the date of death.

On a topic that is somewhat related, A dependency exemption may be claimed for any child of the taxpayer, regardless of whether they qualify as a qualifying child or qualifying relative, if the child is presumed by a law enforcement agency to have been kidnapped by someone other than a member of the family and had resided at the taxpayer’s principal place of abode for more than one-half of the year before the kidnapping.

In these cases, the Internal Revenue Service Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, provides the following support for claiming a dependency exemption: