What Was The Personal Exemption Anyway?

One of the biggest changes in the 2017 tax bill is eliminating the personal exemption. But what exactly was it? And how might this affect you as you file your taxes this year?

The personal exemption originated, along with the modern income tax itself, in the 16th amendment to the US Constitution. It originally exempted the first $3000 of each earner’s income, somewhat above the average income at the time (and equivalent to about $65000 modern dollars). This was in keeping with the intent of the tax: to be a progressive tax, on the “excess” income of high earners. Read more