What is a personal exemption?
A personal exemption is – or was – a set amount you could deduct for every taxpayer and dependent on your 2017 or prior tax return. The exemption amount in tax year 2017 was $4,050 per person, subject to a phaseout at higher income levels.
The 2018 personal exemption was supposed to increase to $4,150 per person before it was repealed by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on December 22, 2017. To help offset the lost exemption, the TCJA increased the standard deduction amount, doubled the Child Tax Credit, and created a new $500 Credit for Other Dependents (aka Family Tax Credit).