26 CFR § 1.151-1 - Deductions for personal exemptions.

§ 1.151-1 Deductions for personal exemptions.

(a)In general.

(1) In computing taxable income, an individual is allowed a deduction for the exemptions specified in section 151. Such exemptions are: (i) The exemptions for an individual taxpayer and spouse (the so-called personal exemptions); (ii) the additional exemptions for a taxpayer attaining the age of 65 years and spouse attaining the age of 65 years (the so-called old-age exemptions); (iii) the additional exemptions for a blind taxpayer and a blind spouse; and (iv) the exemptions for dependents of the taxpayer.

(2) A nonresident alien individual who is a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico during the entire taxable year and subject to tax under section 1 or 1201(b) is allowed as deductions the exemptions specified in section 151, even though as to the United States such individual is a nonresident alien. See section 876 and the regulations thereunder, relating to alien residents of Puerto Rico.

(b)Exemptions for individual taxpayer and spouse (so-called personal exemptions). Section 151(b) allows an exemption for the taxpayer and an additional exemption for the spouse of the taxpayer if a joint return is not made by the taxpayer and his spouse, and if the spouse, for the calendar year in which the taxable year of the taxpayer begins, has no gross income and is not the dependent of another taxpayer. Thus, a husband is not entitled to an exemption for his wife on his separate return for the taxable year beginning in a calendar year during which she has any gross income (though insufficient to require her to file a return). Since, in the case of a joint return, there are two taxpayers (although under section 6013 there is only one income for the two taxpayers on such return, i.e., their aggregate income), two exemptions are allowed on such return, one for each taxpayer spouse. If in any case a joint return is made by the taxpayer and his spouse, no other person is allowed an exemption for such spouse even though such other person would have been entitled to claim an exemption for such spouse as a dependent if such joint return had not been made.

(c)Exemptions for taxpayer attaining the age of 65 and spouse attaining the age of 65 (so-called old-age exemptions).

(1) Section 151(c) provides an additional exemption for the taxpayer if he has attained the age of 65 before the close of his taxable year. An additional exemption is also allowed to the taxpayer for his spouse if a joint return is not made by the taxpayer and his spouse and if the spouse has attained the age of 65 before the close of the taxable year of the taxpayer and, for the calendar year in which the taxable year of the taxpayer begins, the spouse has no gross income and is not the dependent of another taxpayer. If a husband and wife make a joint return, an old-age exemption will be allowed as to each taxpayer spouse who has attained the age of 65 before the close of the taxable year for which the joint return is made. The exemptions under section 151(c) are in addition to the exemptions for the taxpayer and spouse under section 151(b).

(2) In determining the age of an individual for the purposes of the exemption for old age, the last day of the taxable year of the taxpayer is the controlling date. Thus, in the event of a separate return by a husband, no additional exemption for old age may be claimed for his spouse unless such spouse has attained the age of 65 on or before the close of the taxable year of the husband. In no event shall the additional exemption for old age be allowed with respect to a spouse who dies before attaining the age of 65 even though such spouse would have attained the age of 65 before the close of the taxable year of the taxpayer. For the purposes of the old-age exemption, an individual attains the age of 65 on the first moment of the day preceding his sixty-fifth birthday. Accordingly, an individual whose sixty-fifth birthday falls on January 1 in a given year attains the age of 65 on the last day of the calendar year immediately preceding.

(d)Exemptions for the blind.

(1) Section 151(d) provides an additional exemption for the taxpayer if he is blind at the close of his taxable year. An additional exemption is also allowed to the taxpayer for his spouse if the spouse is blind and, for the calendar year in which the taxable year of the taxpayer begins, has no gross income and is not the dependent of another taxpayer. The determination of whether the spouse is blind shall be made as of the close of the taxable year of the taxpayer, unless the spouse dies during such taxable year, in which case such determination shall be made as of the time of such death.

(2) The exemptions for the blind are in addition to the exemptions for the taxpayer and spouse under section 151(b) and are also in addition to the exemptions under section 151(c) for taxpayers and spouses attaining the age of 65 years. Thus, a single individual who has attained the age of 65 before the close of his taxable year and who is blind at the close of his taxable year is entitled, in addition to the so-called personal exemption, to two further exemptions, one by reason of his age and the other by reason of his blindness. If a husband and wife make a joint return, an exemption for the blind will be allowed as to each taxpayer spouse who is blind at the close of the taxable year for which the joint return is made.

(3) A taxpayer claiming an exemption allowed by section 151(d) for a blind taxpayer and a blind spouse shall, if the individual for whom the exemption is claimed is not totally blind as of the last day of the taxable year of the taxpayer (or, in the case of a spouse who dies during such taxable year, as of the time of such death), attach to his return a certificate from a physician skilled in the diseases of the eye or a registered optometrist stating that as of the applicable status determination date in the opinion of such physician or optometrist (i) the central visual acuity of the individual for whom the exemption is claimed did not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses or (ii) such individual's visual acuity was accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees. If such individual is totally blind as of the status determination date there shall be attached to the return a statement by the person or persons making the return setting forth such fact.

(4) Notwithstanding subparagraph (3) of this paragraph, this subparagraph may be applied where the individual for whom an exemption under section 151(d) is claimed is not totally blind, and in the certified opinion of an examining physician skilled in the diseases of the eye there is no reasonable probability that the individual's visual acuity will ever improve beyond the minimum standards described in subparagraph (3) of this paragraph. In this event, if the examination occurs during a taxable year for which the exemption is claimed, and the examining physician certifies that, in his opinion, the condition is irreversible, and a copy of this certification is filed with the return for that taxable year, then a statement described in subparagraph (3) of this paragraph need not be attached to such individual's return for subsequent taxable years so long as the condition remains irreversible. The taxpayer shall retain a copy of the certified opinion in his records, and a statement referring to such opinion shall be attached to future returns claiming the section 151(d) exemption.

[T.D. 6500, 25 FR 11402, Nov. 26, 1960, as amended by T.D. 7114, 36 FR 9018, May 18, 1971; T.D. 7230, 37 FR 28288, Dec. 22, 1972]